Creative Retirement Center at International College Expands, Extends Summer Program

This summer, older adults and retirees have the opportunity to learn about the life and work of Salvador Dali, explore the wonders of wildlife at the Naples Nature Center, and examine the responsibility to the environment. How? Through International College’s Creative Retirement Center (CRC), which has expanded its summer program to run from June 25 to August 9.

The Center, an Elderhostel affiliate now in its seventh year, previously offered the classes, programs and events in the summer for older adults and retirees for three weeks. The summer program was expanded based on input from CRC members, said CRC director Marianne Varney.

“Members spoke up and we listened,” Varney said. “We wanted to make more courses available to more people.”

The summer program also is expanded from 11 offerings last year to 16 offerings this year. Sessions can run once or multiple times, depending on the subject. New courses at the International College site are: “Life and Work of Salvador Dali, “The Great American Short Story,” “Nationalism in Music of the Romantic Period,” “South Florida – Sustaining Our Environment,” and “Freelance Writing for Greeting Cards.” New at the Moorings Park Learning Center are: “Wellness with Feng Shui,” “Collier County Historical Society,” and “Life Review Through Literature.”

Additionally, for the first time since the CRC’s inception, members will be able to take day trips. Scheduled trips are to: the Naples Botanical Garden, the Naples Nature Center, and the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. There is an additional charge for the Dali field trip.

Justine Townsend Smith, 65, of Naples, explained her reasons for participating in the summer program.

“There are so many of us who live here year round and want to continue to challenge our brains,” she said. “I want to learn new things. I want to stay current with what’s happening in world. I’ll get that through the CRC because there is a good variety of topics.”

CRC member Joan Oberton, of Naples, said she’s thrilled the summer CRC program was extended. Oberton, a widow, doesn’t get out too often because she takes care of her 99- year-old mother.

“The CRC program is like a little diamond. You can keep your mind learning. You learn new things and it doesn’t take up your whole day. Overall, it’s energizing,” she said. “I usually have the summer doldrums. This program is going to be a real kick.”

International College faculty as well as CRC members and others volunteer their time to teach CRC classes. Programs are held at International College and Moorings Park, both in Naples. The annual CRC membership fee is $95. To register for the summer program or for more information, call Marianne Varney, CRC director, at 513-1122, Ext. 133.
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