PHOENIXVILLE — The Phoenixville Community Health Foundation will soon kick off the second “semester” of the inaugural year of the Phoenixville Senior Academy.
Run through Widener University’s Lifelong Learning Institute, which is headed by Matt Wideman, the academy will feature three different courses in which seniors can enroll separately or in a block.
“It’s our effort to reach out to seniors and provide some intellectual stimulation,” said Lou Beccaria, the CEO and president of the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. “It provides us an opportunity to do something very concrete for our seniors.”
For $30 per course, seniors can enroll in the classes which span five weeks and run about an hour and 15 minutes once each week.
One course is called “The Way We Used to Be: The 1950s, Part II,” a continuation of sorts of another class running in the first semester covering culture, technology and politics from that time period. Those enrolling in the class who didn’t take part I need not be worried as it covers different topics from the first class, according to a course list.
That class runs from Nov. 4 until Dec. 2 from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
“Baseball Potpourri,” covering the culture of baseball including uniforms and baseball cards as well as the Negro Leagues and the history of the Major League Baseball All Star Game will run from Oct. 15 to Nov. 12, starting at 3 p.m.
The final course is “The Trail of Tears,” focusing on the forced relocations of Native Americans from the southeastern United States. That course is scheduled to have classes starting at 2 p.m. and running from Oct. 23 to Nov. 20.
For the spring semester, Beccaria said the course with the most enrolled had 15 seniors.
“I think we would like to have a few more people attend,” he said.
A similar concept has been running out of Widener’s Exton campus, where a chapter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute stands.
Larry Jilk, who has worked with Beccaria before, took some classes in Exton and approached Beccara with the idea.
“He said, ‘Jeez, why don’t we have one up here (in Phoenixville)?” Beccaria said.
Although the courses really cost $40 each, Beccaria said the Community Health Foundation’s board decided to use a grant to bring down the cost by $10 for each person who signs up.
Beccaria said the academy “provides another opportunity for socialization” for seniors as well as an exposure to the Community Health Foundation, whose building will host the class, giving them “a sense of what we do.”
Anyone interested can call the foundation at 610-917-9890 and speak with Holly Megay, who is effectively acting as registrar for the academy.