Health & Family

Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte offers 6-week educational event to local seniors.

Shepherd's Center of Charlotte staff members from left,Pam Lampel director of operations,Wayne Felton executive director, Leah Amler program assistant. They help oversee the Adventures in Learning program for seniors.
Shepherd's Center of Charlotte staff members from left,Pam Lampel director of operations,Wayne Felton executive director, Leah Amler program assistant. They help oversee the Adventures in Learning program for seniors. Need cutline from Todd-JB

What do yoga, English history, bridge, pencil drawing, and the hula have in common? All are classes offered as part of a six-week educational event for local seniors through the Adventures in Learning (AIL) program.

AIL, coordinated by the Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte, kicked off Monday and runs Mondays through Nov. 10. Seniors from around Charlotte will spend the day taking classes on a variety of topics. The courses are held at Sharon Presbyterian Church, 5201 Sharon Road.

“Adventures in Learning is one of our top programs,” says Wayne Felton, executive director of the Shepherd’s Center. “And one of the most important.” The program is offered several times a year, with fall drawing the largest crowd, around 150-180 people.

Members pay $35 for the program and nonmembers pay $45. Lunch is provided for a fee from Encore Catering, a division of the Community Culinary School of Charlotte. “What we are trying to do is keep (participants) connected, engaged and learning,” says Nina Arten, the center’s program director.

Each Monday begins with a general session for all participants. “Bookworms” is the theme of this year’s general session and will showcase special guests and topics throughout the program including authors, Sally Brewster from Park Road Books, artists and Steve Umberger, local actor and director of “Lunch at the Piccadilly.” After the general session, participants split off to enjoy smaller classes of interests, convene back for lunch, then head to their last class for the afternoon.

New classes this year include the hula for health and the history of the kaleidoscope to mix with old favorites like bridge and book club. Popular instructors will also be back this fall, including professor Luther Wade. He’ll present “A Survey of English History – Through all the Kings and not a few Queens” and is certain to be a big draw. “We have teachers that are tried and true and have huge followings. We try to keep them coming back and add new people to keep it fresh,” says Arten.

Learning a new skill, part of history or a game is a huge part of the program, but so are the connections a learning event like AIL brings to seniors who can sometimes become isolated. “This is a great opportunity for people to get to know each other,” says Arten.

Adventures in Learning

It’s not too late to sign up for fall classes, which run through Nov. 10. To register, call 704-365-1995.

For course details: shepherdscharlotte.org/adventures-in-learning

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