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January 2023 Newsletter

The Inside Scoop
Welcome to The Inside Scoop, our electronic newsletter. Please enjoy this issue and share your feedback by email. We always look forward to hearing from you. This is the January 2023 edition of The Inside Scoop.
Spring Semester Updates
We are excited about the upcoming spring semester which offers our members 42 interesting courses, with 24 of those being brand new. There will be 21 in-person classes and 19 are virtual via Zoom. Two of the classes are hybrid offerings. Browse the catalog here. If you’d like an easy way to see all the courses by day, here’s the calendar view. All of our listings clearly state whether a class is virtual or in-person.
Please join us for the Spring Course Preview on Thursday, February 2 at 9:30 AM.
Course registration begins at 10:00 AM on Monday, February 6. Know that you can register anytime but some courses fill-up early. Login before registration is open and make sure your username and password are ready to go.
With both in-person and virtual courses being offered, we encourage you to select which format you feel is most comfortable and beneficial for you. While we often follow the host location Covid-19 protocols, we are closely monitoring the situation and will make decisions that are in the best interest of the health and welfare of our members. Should we need to cancel a class session due to Covid-19, we will do our best to ensure the class is offered to its full extent possible.
Membership, Class and Zoom Questions Answered – For New and Veteran Users
Do you need help with your membership, using Zoom, or just have a question? Join the Encore Learning staff on Monday, February 27 from 12:00 – 1:00 PM for a member hangout to help answer all your questions. We will be joined by IT Committee co-chairs Marty Suydam and Richard Rubin.
This will be a chance to try your Zoom connection and walk through the basic features that will help you enjoy your virtual Encore Learning courses, club meetings, and events.
No need to register, just click the link to join the Zoom meeting.
Questions? Email us at
Some New Courses For Spring
Just Four of the 24 New Course Offerings!
The course will offer an overview of the history of computers, with a very broad definition of “computer” encompassing how we all use electronic devices today. The instructor will introduce technical terms and concepts, emphasizing how they currently affect, and will affect, the everyday life of non-techies.
We will read and discuss two of Shakespeare’s most popular plays — Henry IV, Part 1, and Hamlet. We consider Henry IV, Part 1, to understand how Shakespeare used history to create engaging and entertaining plays that, at the same time, addressed political questions of his era (and ours).
The Washington Metropolitan Area is home to thousands of immigrants from around the world. In this course the instructor will share material collected through the Columbia Pike Documentary project and introduce representatives of several immigrant communities who will share first-person accounts of why they came to the United States, what brought them to our local area, and how life here compares with life in their native countries.
The changes wrought by aging can engender psychological struggles: the loss of lifelong friends and partners, fears of diminished physical strength and cognition, health challenges and the knowledge that the end of life is approaching. Guest speakers each week will address aspects of aging and how to confront them.
Get More Out of Your Class
Be a Class Aide!
Have you ever wondered how our classes run so smoothly, both in-person and virtually? It’s because of our amazing Class Aides!
Won’t you consider becoming one?
Some of the benefits to you are:
  • Credit for one free course (for virtual class aides)
  • Free parking (for in-person class aides)
  • Meet new people
  • Learn new technology
  • Contribute to a great nonprofit
All Class Aides receive full training and are guaranteed enrollment in the class they are assisting. Click here to select the classes for which you are willing to be the Class Aide. Email for more information or to volunteer.
Special Event News
Our January 9 Special Event Sinkable: Obsession, The Deep Sea and The Shipwreck of The Titanic with author Daniel Stone was very well received. Some notable kudos from our audience:
Great learning experience. I found the topic fascinating.
This was my first Encore Learning Event. Excellent talk! I plan to read the book now!
I was riveted for the entire presentation. And even stayed for all of the Q&A“.
We are taking an innovative approach this year by bringing Special Events right to senior residences. For this event, residents at The Jefferson were able to watch the event together in a meeting room in their building. It’s a new year and a new approach! Encore Learning volunteers worked with the staff at the Jefferson to make this all happen. Let’s work together to bring additional gatherings at more senior living facilities. If you’d like to host one at your senior living community, email
Mark your calendars for our exciting upcoming Special Events:
Insider Info on WETAs TV Programs: Monday, February 6 at 3:00 PM
Click the links to learn more and forward to friends. Both events are free and open to all.
On the big screen, Encore Learning Special Events committee member Louise Kenny (L) introduces author Daniel Stone.
Calling All Music Lovers!
The Arlington Philharmonic is a nonprofit, professional orchestra with the mission of making classical music accessible to every Arlington resident,
promoting the value of classical music in civic life, and building strong, creative partnerships with schools, local government, business, and other
Encore Learning is partnering with Arlington’s Office of 55+ Programs, Alliance
for Arlington Senior Programs to co-sponsor a free, in-person concert on Sunday, March 5 at 4:00 PM at Washington-Liberty High School. Encore Learning and our Membership Committee invite you to attend a pre-concert reception beginning at 3:00 PM where you can join us in supporting local arts and mingle with fellow lifelong learners and music appreciators.
For more information and to register click here
Join the Arlington Philharmonic’s Music Director and Conductor
for a preview of the concert on Thursday, March 2 at 1:00PM. Maestro Wood will highlight the music to be performed and give participants some cues of things to listen for at the concert.
A. Scott Wood is Music Director and Conductor of the Arlington Philharmonic. In this role, he provides artistic leadership, selects the repertoire, conducts the orchestra and oversees all musical decisions of the organization. Mr. Wood also directs the Amadeus Orchestra, the Montgomery Symphony
Orchestra, the National Cathedral School and St. Albans School Orchestra, and the George Washington University Orchestra. He is also a longtime instructor for Encore Learning.
Club News
The Non-fiction Book Club met on January 9 to discuss Panama Fever, a fascinating story about the building of the Panama Canal. Its completion in 1914 against almost impossible odds launched the beginning of the “American Century.”
We’ll meet next on March 13 at 1:30 PM in the Bluemont room, Arlington Central Library to discuss the book The Beauty of Dusk by Frank Bruni.
New members are welcome. The club meets at 1:30 PM on the 2nd Monday of every other month in the Arlington Central Library. If you’d like to join the club, email, and we’ll add you to the list.  
Encore Learning’s Philanthropic Partners: Alliance for Arlington Senior Programs and the Janice Gentry Fund
Encore Learning’s Lora Pollari-Welbes with Arlington Community Learning Coordinator Raul Matos
When Encore Learning (originally Arlington Learning in Retirement) first began, the founders stressed their keen interest in being good partners with other Arlington organizations. Through the years Encore Learning’s leadership has continued to embrace this philosophy. Currently, Encore Learning gives grants to two initiatives, the Alliance for Arlington Senior Programs and the Janice Gentry Family Fund.
The Alliance for Arlington Senior Programs (AASP) works cooperatively with Arlington County’s Office of Adult Senior Programs to fill in gaps in the 55+ Program that the County is unable to pay for. Doug Frost, the Chairman of AASP, said one example of what AASP has done is pay for Zoom accounts to enable wider availability of the 55+ Program’s virtual classes. AASP helps fund events at Arlington’s senior centers as well, such as the popular Acoustic Cafe (live music).
AASP most recently has focused on lessening the digital divide for low income seniors. In 2022, AASP organized six-week classes that taught a total of 30 seniors how to use a computer and provided each student with a free computer.
Encore Learning’s second grant goes to The Janice Gentry Scholarship Fund. This fund helps low income Arlington County adults gain employment skills or academic credentials through the Arlington Public Schools’ Career, Technical and Adult Education programs. The Gentry Fund gives small scholarships to help pay for up to 50% of a class fee for a student, and one student can receive two scholarships per academic year. In honor of Janice Gentry, who was one of the earliest supporters of Encore Learning’s creation, Encore Learning has been contributing to this fund since 2003. The fund itself has given out 756 scholarships since that time. Article by Mildred Patterson
Instructors in the News
Encore Learning Instructor Julie Boehler will be performing with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra’s production of Stravinsky’s A Soldiers Tale and is offering a discount code if you are interested in hearing her in a live performance of one of the compositions that will be discussed in her Spring class. This will be a full production featuring WETA’s Robert Aubry Davis as the Devil. Use Promo code ANTIETAM10 for $10 tickets.
Click here for more information.
Julie will be teaching a course for Encore Learning this spring entitled Timing is Everything: Secrets of the Percussionist.
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announced James Egenrieder, Research Faculty and Director at Virginia Tech in Falls Church, VA as the 2023 National ACTE Postsecondary Professional of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education teachers at the postsecondary level.
Dr. Egenrieder is a longtime instructor for Encore Learning. He is a current member of the Alexandria/Arlington Regional Workforce Council and is life-long educator.
Community Events
LLI/NOVA also offers many interesting events for those over 50. You may want to consider some of their upcoming free special events.
February 1
“4 Paws for Ability,” an organization that trains service dogs, will describe how their work greatly enriches the lives of people with disabilities, including Alzheimer’s, autism, diabetic alert, and seizure detection.
March 1
Arch! Arch! The March Forum speaker will be Arch Campbell, “The Accidental Critic.” For years, Arch was a fixture on channel 4’s WRC News. Expect a lot of laughing and entertaining tales!
All of LLI/NOVA’s forums begin at 10:00 and finish at 11:00 AM.
To register, go to the Future Forums column on LLI/NOVA’s homepage: LLI NOVA. Click on the Forum title to link to the registration page. IMPORTANT: Non-members must register for the Feb. 1 forum before Jan. 30 at noon and must register for the March 1 forum before Feb. 27 at noon. The zoom link will be sent to registrants.
Staff Corner
January is an exciting month for Encore Learning. We launched our Spring Semester with our online catalog of 42 courses to be offered. This will be the most courses offered during a semester and you may find your class at Mason, online, Fairlington or other Arlington locations.
We are actively recruiting new members to keep our classes highly enrolled and you can meet new people. The best way for us to recruit members is through you! Tell a friend to watch the preview, invite them to join, or give them a gift membership for their birthday. We must sustain our membership to continue offering the robust selection of courses, clubs and Special Events.
If you would like to get more involved, consider being a Class Aide or joining a committee. The Academic Programs Committee will be planning the Fall Semester soon, so submit your course ideas now. We are so grateful to the 150 members who volunteer for Encore Learning!
Thank you for your ongoing support and I look forward to seeing your name online for the Course Preview on February 2. I am fortunate to have watched all of the instructor videos and you will have a hard time choosing your classes!
~ Lora 
Lora Pollari-Welbes, Executive Director
During November and December 2022, we welcomed these new members (including some new instructors) and look forward to having them become active participants in Encore Learning. Please introduce yourself to them if you meet them in a class, club or event.
  • Arthur Amchan
  • Christine Crawford
  • Jeffrey Dale
  • Jane Friedman
  • Peter Olson
  • Kirsten Singer
  • Deneen Snow
  • James Taylor
  • Lloyd Wolf
  • Kay Yong
THANK YOU to Marjorie Hobart and Michelle Trahan for referring friends and family to Encore Learning. Thank you to the Membership Committee for their efforts to spread the word about Encore Learning. If you’d like to bring Encore Learning into your community (residential building or neighborhood) to share information about membership, let us know. Tell a friend about Encore Learning so you can see your name here!
Encore Learning is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Any donation is a charitable contribution deductible from income tax to the full extent permitted by law. Members, friends and organizations wishing to support Encore Learning may direct contributions to our General Fund to support our sustainability, to the Arthur W. Gosling Youth Scholarship Fund or the John T. Sprott Scholarship Fund. If you would like to discuss tax benefits of charitable giving and charitable remainder trusts, please view our Donate page or contact the office.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of The Inside Scoop. If you would like to submit an article or share some photos of members participating in Encore Learning activities, please email us at
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Lifelong Learning For Those Over 50
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