We, Montana! to Change Directions for Fall 2020: Suspends Classes; Starts Podcast

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 situation has created lots of upheaval in the educational world, and even at this late date, many parents are still uncertain as to how they will proceed for Fall 2020.  Consequently, our We, Montana! enrollments for Fall are down such that moving forward with our classes is simply impractical.  As a result, our Board has decided to suspend all course offerings for now while looking hopefully ahead to January or September 2021 to recommence, provided the situation is better.  We regret this disappointing situation on behalf of all the people it affects, but we’re determined to make lemonade from the lemons that COVID-19 has handed us.  Since we can’t fill up our classes with students, we’re going to take advantage of this opportunity to rework our strategic plan so that we can build another area of our intended outreach ahead of schedule, while hopefully raising enough financial support in the interim to keep the rent paid on our dedicated classroom space (the Great Room) .

We’re excited to announce that in the very near future, we’ll be launching our new project, the We, Montana! Podcast.  This weekly audio publication will have a variety of regular features, such as informative and relevant full-length interviews with various Montanans, and several short segments that give the audience some good thoughts to consider on such topics as etiquette, deliberate parenting, health and diet, and more.  We’ll also provide a weekly update on the Great Room and our Homeschool Program, a weekly Montana History Moment, and entertaining segments with skits and music.  And we’ll put out the call often for listener-generated suggestions and content in pursuit of our organization’s tagline, “Life-long learning and engagement.”  If you still need help getting a handle on the concept, think of it as:  The podcast meets the radio variety show meets Montana!

We’ll launch our Patreon page very soon, through which our fans in Montana and beyond can support us with regular monthly donations.  Meanwhile, we think that having a corporate sponsor for each podcast episode and making branded “swag” available for sale will also help us to pay our modest bills until our classes are back up and running.  We also plan to launch an abridged video version of our upcoming course, Introduction to the US Constitution, and to offer it for sale at a modest price.  While it won’t be as great as our in-person course will be, it will certainly be very useful and relevant, and could potentially bring in sales from all over the country.

So, this is what we’re going to do while the COVID situation has our hands tied otherwise.  We’ve had these ideas cooking all along, and now seems the perfect time to get them going.  And when our in-person courses resume, we’ll be able to keep both going.  We know that those who had enrolled for this Fall will be disappointed, but we’re looking for ways you could be involved in the podcast, even from home.  We’re not quite ready to announce what we have in mind, but we’ll announce it soon, and you might just think it’s a great idea for you and your kids.

If you’d like to keep up with the latest about our journey forward, please like our Facebook page, or make it a habit to check our website’s “Announcements” tab regularly. 

We miss you, and we’re definitely looking forward!

Jack Pelham,
Executive Director, We, Montana!