United Senior Services is poised to launch the second voyage of what so far has been a wildly successful adult education re-branding effort.
The USS’s Springfield Area Institute for Lifelong Learning is launching its fall offering of educational classes at noon Monday with a preview and registration program at its new site, 125 W. Main St.
The preview for the first round of classes last spring had 120 attendees, and over 300 students attended classes through the semester. So far, reservations for Monday’s event have increased to 235.
“We started SAILL in 2015 as a way to organize a lot of the education that USS already provides,” United Senior Services Executive Director Maureen Fagans. “Health-related, academic and life enrichment topics have always been available, but we had never organized it. We decided it was time to organize it and give it some structure.”
Wittenberg University, Clark State Community College, Clark County Historical Society, Clark County Public Library and Ohio State University’s Extension Office were a part of SAILL’s initial spring launch.
“It was born out of the idea that older adults have the time and inclination to continue to learn,” Fagans said. “There is a lot of research to support that it effects overall brain health. We are really focused on wellness, and brain health is a key part of that. We see that as a responsibility to provide for our membership.”
Anyone 55 and older is eligible to participate in the classes. Topics range from evidence-based health education to field trips to the Ohio Caverns to learn about genealogy.
“These are far-ranging and interesting learning opportunities,” Fagans said.
SAILL will have some new offerings this fall, she said.
“Every semester is going to be different,” Fagans said. “Tim Bucey is going to do a baseball classes about the 23 major league players from Clark County. The Masonic Community is hosting a couple of classes. There is a class on climate change at Oakwood Village. We even have a beginning quilting class.”
The ultimate goal SAILL is simple, she said.
“The mission is to provide interesting and stimulating lifelong learning,” Fagans said. “We are keeping it highly interactive. We want there to be a discovery element. It’s very low-key, no tests, no homework. And we work to keep it very reasonable in cost. Some classes are free, some $5, depends on what is involved in putting it together.”
That’s been an attractive combination so far.
“Our students are very dedicated,” Fagans said. “They come for every class.”