Did You Know?

Senior student in classMuch to Dick’s and Jane’s surprise (see initial Did Your Know?), they encountered a room full of people at the lecture on the Civil War that they attended. Dick pondered “Do you supposed there are lots of other people in this area that take advantage of the many courses and lectures available to them?”

You bet, Dick, there are lots. In fact, data from twelve lifelong learning organizations (present SCALL members) in the suncoast area recently reported that in 2017, there were 64,851 participants that attended 3,056 classes and lectures. Not only that, there were 487 instructors and 584 volunteers involved in making these events possible at 66 different locations. Our learning cup runth over.

Of the 22 members of the SunCoast Alliance, three organizations are the biggest creators of classes, lectures and special events for Dick and Jane (and others) to ponder and their offerings are posted at the SCALL website (www.SunCoastLifeLongLearning.org). The Adult and Community Enrichment program (ACE) provided 1,800 offerings and resulting in 6,115 participants in 2017. Ringling College for Lifelong Learning Academy (RCLLA) provided 300 offerings with 3,500 participants. And the Sarasota Institute for Lifetime Learning (SILL) had 96 offerings that drew an amazing 45,000 participants. These big-three organizations produced approximately 84% of the participants in 2017 as reported by the 12 responding lifelong learning organizations.

Interestingly, these three organizations provide an extensive variety of choices. ACE (www.ace-sarasota.com), for example, provides an array of hands-on courses. Whereas, RCLLA (www.RCLLA.org) tends towards more traditional and conceptually oriented classes. SILL’s (www.Sillsarasota.org) specialty is lectures focused on music and international affairs.

In future Did You Know? articles, we will introduce other members of SCALL and their unique offerings. In the meantime, visit and explore the marvelous opportunities to expand your mind at the SCALL website.

Submitted by Robert V. Carlson, President of SunCoast Alliance for Lifelong Learning