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President's Corner

“What courses are you taking?” is the question I hear most often when the new issue of The SUN comes out.
Our courses are the heart of OLLI. We strive to have offerings that meet a variety of interests. Many members have an interest in studying art and literature. Others want opportunities to create their own art or make their own music. Still others want to go deeply into current events and history. A number want to keep up with the latest technology. Finally, many of us like special events highlighting local theater and opera.
Our Education and Technology Working Groups ensure that courses appeal to the wide variety of interests of our members. They create a schedule of classes that meets our members’ needs—recruiting and supporting teachers and scheduling across our multiple locations (CSULB campus, Pine Avenue, Leisure World, and the Alpert Jewish Community Center). The task is daunting, but they rise to the occasion.
As we continue to grow, we are looking at adding sites—possibly American Gold Star Manor and the Villages at Cabrillo. The Balance and Fall Prevention class will be held at Gold Star Manor this fall. I am particularly interested in ensuring that our great work is accessible throughout the city, so adding sites in north and west Long Beach will enhance our impact.
Our reputation as a place where interesting people come to learn interesting things makes recruiting highly-qualified teachers fairly easy. But teaching adults—particularly older adults—is different than teaching high school or even college students. I am grateful for the New Instructor Orientation and a chance to work on our PowerPoint skills.
We are lucky to have the leadership of Pat Wrenn and Karen McDonough for our Education Working Group. The Technology Working Group has equally strong leaders in Kathy Winkenwerder and Wesley Peck. They keep up on the latest technology and on the evolving interests of our members, preparing us to use the newer cell phone and tablet technologies.
Our teachers are key to our volunteer work force; their efforts require leadership of our working groups. Thank you all for doing crucial behind-the-scenes jobs that keep our OLLI strong.

olli

From the Executive Director

By Dr. Barbara White

Welcome to the new membership year! In the Summer 2018 issue of The SUN, I discussed our marketing plan to encourage residents in nearby Leisure World (LW) to join the classes we offer on their campus. We have held classes at LW for ten years now; however, most attendees have been non-residents. This does not conform to the LW policy that any class/event have no more that 50% non-resident attendees. OLLI values the opportunity to offer classes at this site, especially for those who may be unable to travel to campus for classes easily.
We are happy to report that we have  welcomed 54 new LW members to OLLI for our summer  session and filled most of the nine classes we offered there with residents. This, of course, causes some initial issues with non-residents who had routinely taken classes at LW. We need a growing attendance at LW in order to continue offering classes there. We ask for your patience while we work out the logistics of maintaining a minimum of 50%  LW resident participants.
I also draw your attention to the other satellite classrooms which have open seats for most classes. Our downtown classroom off Pine Avenue (PA) and 7th street is in an up-and-coming neighborhood. This is evidenced by a very nice coffee shop opening at 8th and Pine, and a vintage shop with a very friendly, but 1-eyed cat (photo below). Our classroom, though small, is well equipped.
The Alpert Jewish Community Center has welcomed us for several years for one to two classes per session and free parking. Our newest venue at the American Gold Star Manor at Spring Street and Santa Fe, is a newly renovated site where we will initially offer our Balance and Fall Prevention class this fall. This class is supported by a Physical Therapy Department research grant and  begins in early September. The bulk of our classes remain on campus in HS&D 101 and 119.
Welcome to the new membership year and our outreach into our surrounding community!