About 150 Sun City learners decided they wanted to know more about what might be an offer for a fall term beginning in October this year under the auspices of the Lifelong Learning Club.
It was also an opportunity for old friends to check in with each other, and a significant number of new Sun City residents also were in attendance and asked what they might expect to discover from this reinvented Recreation Centers of Sun City program.
A brief history of Lifelong Learning was given by Vice President Mary Jo Tietge, who noted that 18 of the original members in the first year, 2008, are still current. In the fall of 2008, the program had 114 learners enrolled and that number grew to 144 by the next year.
Those early students took courses like “Introduction to Murder,” “Famous Murders in History,” “Chronic Disease Management,” “Great Presidential Decisions” and “The Art and Science of Leadership,” among others. Over time and availability, learners took classes in art appreciation and production, history classes, which included world history as well as specific Arizona and Sun City history. Other classes explored architecture, including Sun City’s, storytelling, scrapbooking, animal behavior, aviation, collaborative negotiations, news and issues, retirement planning, astronomy, archeology, music and cinema.
Tietge, who maintains the email site for club members with the Recreation Centers of Sun City, said that when the pandemic called a halt to classroom experiences, the club had 224 members.
Pat Tonnema, field trip organizer, presented a menu of ideas and destinations for members, and she promised one bus trip and one car pool adventure per semester To honor National Native American Heritage Month in November, the Deer Valley Petroglyphs will be the first car pool trip. Tonnema also hoped Basha Contemporary Western and Indian Art Collection in Chandler with its world class collection of 3,500 pieces of art will be our first bus trip. Both the Basha and the Deer Valley trips will include a luncheon.
Lifelong Learning President Michael Powell shared results of a recent membership survey and promised a minimum of 25 classes to be presented this coming fall. He noted members said they valued the classroom environment that promotes shared inquiries and discussion. Sun City learners said the program provided enjoyment.
Class instructors teach on a volunteer basis and learners can take up to 10 courses per semester. Powell and Curricula Chairwoman Barbara Sausen are assembling a course of study that meets the hopes of the members who said they wanted history of any kind. Powell said he is certain the club will have a class in coping with grief, and there will be a repeat of the popular storytelling class.
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