By Meryl Rachlin

Shortly after the Lifelong Learning program began in 2012 (as Stetson Lifelong), I offered to help a friend who was teaching a painting class. It was my introduction to the program. The next semester I took a couple of classes and was impressed. I was then asked to teach an art class. I had never taught a group of humans before – well, not since being a camp counselor! I taught Beginner Drawing to a class of 15 adults. The rewards were quick upon seeing the progress of those who had either never drawn before or had not for many years. I learned that I enjoyed teaching. Soon after, I was asked to join the curriculum committee where I continue to help curate courses, clubs and lectures.

With only so many artists willing to volunteer to teach, and wishing I could teach more, I began teaching myself new mediums. I have learned and taught needle felting and wet felting, outdoor sketching, cartooning, and in March and April I am teaching courses on basket making and scratchboard drawing. I always offer a Creative Open Studio for those who wish to advance their skills and have the time, space and guidance to be an artist. I am now in the process of brain storming new art classes for the Fall 2019 Term.

And that’s only one side of a wonderful experience. Due to the experience and confidence that I have gained as a Lifelong instructor, I have received teaching opportunities outside of the program that otherwise would not have been offered. I have also enjoyed taking Lifelong courses in a variety of subjects – fine & performing arts, history, literature, finance, health and medicine and more! As a student in these courses, I am impressed by the incredible generosity and expertise of those kind enough to offer their time and expertise. I am constantly looking forward to learning new things and being surrounded by incredibly lovely people.

Celebration Lifelong is a membership program open to all adults. You can get your feet wet by signing up for membership and one course. The membership fee is $40 per term. Members may participate in all Lifelong Clubs and attend the Tuesday Lecture Series. Membership may be purchased without purchasing any courses. The fee per course is $20 and each course consists of three classes. Additional materials fee may be required for certain courses.

There is still space available in most of our Session #3 courses which will start on Tuesday, April 9.  I guarantee if you join us for one course, or just attend a lecture or club, you’ll be hooked…and maybe even end up teaching!

For more information about Celebration Lifelong and the benefits of membership please visit our website at www.CelebrationLifelong.org.  If you have further questions, please call the Lifelong office at 407-595-5905 or email us at Lifelong@CelebrationFoundation.org.