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L.I.F.E Continues To Thrive, Adds Interesting New Course

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on September 13, 2004:

Senator Dyson A year ago, I wrote to you about a tremendous new program offered by the St. Mary’s County Office on Aging.

The program is called Learning is ForEver, or L.I.F.E. It offers a wide variety of fun and instructive classes by top-notch volunteers with vast experiences in different fields.

The main purpose is to provide social and cultural stimulation to senior citizens who want to broaden their knowledge about topics ranging from ballroom dancing, Feng Shui, genealogy, the history of St. Mary’s City, musical theater, photography, wine tasting and much more.

A new course that will begin on September 29 is particularly relevant and interesting. Taught by a political expert, the six session course is entitled “Understanding the 2004 Presidential Election.”

According to the course syllabus, “the focus of the class is understanding how voters make up their minds in choosing what candidate to vote for in the 2004 presidential election and how professional campaign managers and consultants go about shaping opinions to lead voters in a pre-determined direction.”

The instructor worked for former U.S. Senator and 1968 Democratic presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey as well as on five U.S. Senatorial Campaigns, two Congressional campaigns and a gubernatorial campaign so he is definitely knowledgeable about what he is teaching.

I have read his syllabus and despite my 30 years in public office, I learned things from it that I didn’t know.

Like “Understanding the 2004 Presidential Election,” all of L.I.F.E’s classes are inexpensive (usually $10, no more than $15).

Some classes are even free. These include instructions on understanding annuities (beginning October 28) , Understanding Charitable Giving and Understanding IRA Distributions among others. While it is offered by St. Mary’s County Government, and is primarily aimed at senior citizens, adults of all ages in each Southern Maryland County can participate.

All of the classes are taught at various venues throughout St. Mary’s County, but many of them are easily accessible to Charles and Calvert Counties.

The program is coordinated by the St. Mary’s County Office on Aging’s Leslee Metz, one of the most enthusiastic people I know. “What makes my job fun is working with volunteers who have so much experience and enthusiasm and have the brightest of minds,” Metz said.

She went on to say that one of her volunteer teachers told her that she would not teach the class unless she could do it for free. “She told me she wanted to do something to give back to the community,” Metz said of the teacher.

I have been a big fan of L.I.F.E. since its inception nearly three years ago. While every adult can participate in the classes, it has proven to be a big benefit for senior citizens.

Numerous studies have shown that boredom and inactivity is detrimental to the physical and mental health of senior citizens. These interesting and diverse classes give seniors a chance to learn new things in a social environment. It is important for all of us to constantly learn new things or we become stagnant. L.I.F.E makes sure that doesn’t happen.

For more information about this program, contact Leslee Metz at (301) 737-5674 or visit the website: www.olg.com/LIFE.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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