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Class is in session at OASIS

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OASIS is a national, nonprofit education organization designed to enable people age 50 and over to continue to grow intellectually, improve their health and volunteer in the community. Each trimester, the two OASIS centers in San Diego County offer about 350 classes in the arts, sciences, humanities, wellness and computer technology. Most classes last about two hours and cost around $3 per session. In his book "Aging Well," Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant shares four basic activities that help make retirement more rewarding: replacing work mates with another social network; rediscovering how to play; creativity; and continuing lifelong learning. "Lots of times, when people get older, they just have a tendency to want to stay home," said Audrey Shaw, a retired bank officer who takes classes and volunteers at OASIS. "This is a real good reason for getting out of the house ... It's really nice to go somewhere and just learn, without worrying about grades and tests." From art to zoology, OASIS students say that they like the eclectic mix of classes. "There are just so many things to choose from," said Nancy Beals, a retired paralegal who takes the bus and trolley to attend classes in Spanish and oriental brush painting. To complement local programming, The OASIS Institute develops federally funded programs for all the centers to teach. This year the highlight program is a six-week Lewis & Clark discussion class funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Both the San Diego and North County OASIS centers are also pilot sites for "Science across the Generations," an intergenerational science-based education program funded by the National Science Foundation and administered jointly by the SPRY Foundation in Washington, D.C., and The OASIS Institute. OASIS was founded in 1982 with support from a federal grant and The May Department Stores Co. OASIS has centers in 26 cities and a national membership of over 350,000. OASIS has been in San Diego County for 17 years and boasts a combined membership of over 25,000. The OASIS centers in Mission Valley, (619) 574-0674, and Escondido, (760) 432-0635, are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Advertisement paid for in part by funding from the California Endowment. More information is available at www.oasisnet.org.


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