By Natalia Molina, MPH
Director, OLLI of Sedona & Verde Valley
Verde Valley AZ (April 6, 2012) – In a time when most individuals, businesses, political and social movements communicate solely via Facebook and email blasts, the marketing committee of the Yavapai College’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) of Sedona and Verde Valley have discovered that face time remains a solid strategy of engagement. In a recent internal marketing survey conducted with OLLI membership, when members were asked how they had heard about OLLI, many shared “through a friend.” Taking this feedback seriously, OLLI marketing committee members have launched various person to person activities in the Verde Valley.
OLLI of Sedona and Verde Valley is a one of a kind program at Yavapai College created to meet the needs of intellectually active adults. What makes OLLI a unique learning experience is that there are no grades or tests. Members attend learning groups and workshops for the joy of learning. General topics of offerings include: the arts, dance, world cultures, music, literature, poetry, history, politics, religion and metaphysical arts, science, health & wellness, self-improvement, and much more.
Face time activities this term have included: meet and greets in local public libraries, events at the Verde Valley and Sedona campuses of Yavapai College, and recently, an afternoon coffee talk at the Sunset Village retirement community in Sedona.
The discussion at the Sunset Village retirement community was the result of the work of OLLI members Robert Gesche and Ronald Olson, who are on the recently formed OLLI R&D team. This team works in partnership with the OLLI marketing committee. Instead of research and development, these members create innovative face to face outreach experiences and programs that are relevant and dynamic. At the Sunset Village event held on April 3, there was discussion of the possibility of creating a Mente Olympics, a learning group in which members would be involved in mental agility games. OLLI members attending the event shared that in addition to the enjoyable programs, what made OLLI a positive experience were the friendships that developed as a result of sharing similar interests and sometimes opposing viewpoints.
OLLI’s spring term begins on April 9 and will commence May 17. This term is especially unique in the amount of workshops and the diverse themes that are being offered. From tales of Vietnam, Kenya, and Japan, to discussions on sustainability, solar cooking, pollution, health and wellness, and geology, to the fine arts, including art with pen and ink, painting and sculpture-the variety of workshops is robust.
Membership fees do apply, but scholarships are available by request for up to two presentations per term. OLLI catalogs are available at the Sedona and Village of Oak Creek libraries, Quilter’s Corner, AZ State Credit Union, El Rio Del Oro Mobile Home Park, Tuzigoot Village Senior Living Community, Christian Care Senior Lifestyle Community, Mt. Hope Foods, and New Frontiers.
To schedule a presentation for your club, group, or community, please call 928-649-4275 in Sedona or 928-649-5550 in Clarkdale. Also visit OLLI of Sedona and Verde Valley at www.yc.edu/lifelonglearners.