RA provides great kayak classes; check 'em out at this link:
Kayaking Lessons : Renaissance Adventure Guides
As for finding paddling partners, I think you're already on the right track, just post up on the 'buzz here. Also try posting in the "Betty Buzz" forum, it might increase your chances of finding female paddlers. Plenty of beginners always posting up looking for paddling partners and starting threads somewhere along the lines of, 'beginner trip', 'Class II-III', etc..
It's also a very good idea to paddle with a person/people that have a bit of experience and know what they are doing so that in the event of a swim, they will be able to help recover your boat, gear, and if needed, you. If you go with ALL beginners, and there's a swim, it may turn into all of you swimming, and a huge yard sale. :P
Good Luck, welcome to one of the most, if not THE MOST, addicting sport. Be Safe.