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LEARN SOMETHING NEW: Learn Aikido, a Japanese martial art, with the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department Aikido class. This art form is practical for women, men and children of all sizes and abilities. All classes meet at Aikido of Modesto, 1501 Coffee Road, Suite L. Three classes will offered:

5 to 8 years old: Wednesdays, 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., Jan. 2 to Feb. 20; $55 registration fee

9 to 15 years old: Mondays and Fridays, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.,

Jan. 7 to Feb. 29; $95 registration fee

16-plus years old: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Jan. 8 to Feb. 28; $95 registration fee

HOW ABOUT BATON TWIRLING? The city is offering baton twirling classes Mondays from Jan. 7-28 at the Roosevelt School Gym, 1313 College Ave. Class times are:

4 to 6 years old: 6 to 6:30 p.m.; $24 registration fee

7 to 11 years old: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; $38 registration fee

PERHAPS BELLY DANCING: Beginning and intermediate belly dance classes will be offered Monday nights from Jan. 7 to March 17 at the Modesto Senior Center, 211 Bodem St. Each class consists of eight sessions and costs $35. Beginning belly dance is from 6 to

7 p.m., and intermediate belly dance is from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. For more information, call 491-5944 or e-mail sparker@modestogov.com. For more information refer to the winter/spring 2008 Activity Guide at www.modestogov.com/prnd/activityguide. Register in person at

1010 10th St., Suite 4400, or at www.modestogov.com/econnect.

CHECKING OUT HISTORY: The Stanislaus Civil War Association will have its next regular monthly meeting Jan. 8 (please note the date change from the usual first Tuesday) at 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall behind St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Oakdale Road and Briggsmore Avenue. There will be no speaker. Instead, the library of about 500 Civil War books donated by the widow of Jim Brazelton will be available for viewing.

KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF CREDIT REPORTS: Experts recommend periodically checking one's credit report to monitor for accuracy. Understanding how credit reporting works can help consumers monitor their credit and protect themselves against theft and fraud. Carin Miller of Valley First Credit Union will present "Solving the Mystery of Credit Reports" Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. at the Modesto library. The free presentation will include an overview of credit bureaus, credit scoring and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Miller will provide guidance on disputing inaccuracies, improving one's credit score and dealing with identity theft and fraud. The presentation will be in the downstairs auditorium at the library, 1500 I St. To reserve a seat, call 558-7814.

LEARN ABOUT REVERSE MORTGAGES: How do reverse mortgages work? How does a reverse mortgage affect taxes, estate planning, Social Security and other public benefits? These are all factors to think about when considering a reverse mortgage. Julie Bates, an expert from AARP in Sacramento, will discuss reverse mortgages during a free program at 2 p.m. Jan. 22 in the downstairs auditorium at the Modesto library, 1500 I St. The program is offered through a partnership of the AARP and the Stanislaus County Library. To reserve a seat, call 558-7814 or go to the library's reference desk.

Send Region items to Region, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; call 578-2330; fax 578-2207; or e-mail region@modbee.com.

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