Westport school officials have a novel, holiday gift idea -- knowledge.

Gift certificates redeemable for a wide array of continuing-education courses are available online and by phone and can be purchased in any dollar amount up to $200, officials said.

Continuing education offers scores of courses for adults and children. They range from foreign languages to creative arts, cooking, hobbies and leisure activities, self-improvement, recreation, technology and financial matters, according to the course catalog.

Children's courses run the gamut from art exploration to cooking, karate and woodworking, plus teen courses in driver education and SAT prep, among others.

Courses are open to both Westport residents and nonresidents, and classes meet at various Westport schools, according to the continuing education website.

The continuing education catalog lists scores of courses, but a sampling includes:

Creative arts: various painting and drawing courses, jewelry making, knitting, quilting, sewing, pottery.

Photography: digital photography and cellphone photography

Culinary: Barbecue cooking, parent/child cooking, gluten-free baking, wine and cheese.

Improvement: Dog obedience, time management.

Languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish.

Leisure activities: ballroom dancing, bridge for various levels, guitar.

Fitness and health: swimming, yoga, Pilates, meditation, tennis, walking/aerobic fitness.

Home: interior design, room transformations. topics on selling homes

Financial: estate planning, basics of investing, finances in divorce, reverse mortgages, Social Security.

Technology: iPhone, iPad, Photoshop, social networking, Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point.

Gift certificates can be purchased online or by phone, and electronic certificates are emailed to the purchases, according to Brian A. Fagan, the interim director of continuing education.

For holiday giving, gift certificates can be obtained right up to Christmas Day, Fagan said.

The course catalog can be viewed at www.westportcontinuinged.com.

Continuing-education gift certificates may be purchased online at www.westportcontinuinged.com or by calling 203-341-1209.