Thu, Jan. 23

OLLI issues call for facilitators for Fall 2012

Yavapai College's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Sedona and the Verde Valley is accepting facilitator proposals for the fall term until June 1. The fall term begins Sept. 24 and ends Nov. 16. OLLI of Sedona and the Verde Valley is a dynamic organization within Yavapai College created to meet the needs of intellectually active mature adults. What makes OLLI a unique learning experience is that there is no pressure of tests, grades, or papers. It is a warm gathering of people who are endlessly curious and love to learn.

The facilitators at OLLI are those individuals who guide and lead the discussions for classes, known as learning groups, and workshops. These individuals are volunteers who share hobbies, academic, and professional interests in classroom settings. According to the Director of OLLI of Sedona and the Verde Valley, "Learning never retires and OLLI is a great outlet to share your passion with likeminded people about politics, arts, reading, sciences, and much more."

This past spring term OLLI of Sedona and the Verde Valley had a team of 78 facilitators that presented either classes or workshops. One of the facilitators, Ann Metlay, who has facilitated several popular poetry and writing classes says, "For over 40 years I taught a myriad of children. Very quickly I discovered my love of writing to be a skill I could incorporate into my teaching." In a classroom of Appalachian youngsters with limited cognitive skills, Metlay guided the children to write poems to the children in the school who victimized and bullied them.

Later, in a school for autistic children, the promise of writing a poem with only fifty words to fulfill a writing assignment encouraged some of the higher functioning children. "One of my most moving assignments in that school came several years later. One of the lowest skilled groups of children lost their beloved aide to cancer. Their first request when they heard the news was that they had to write an Ann," shared Metlay.

When Metlay moved into working in public schools, she was offered the chance to work with the most gifted students. "With a few prompts, they turned out work that was both sensitive and evocative," shared Metlay.

Metlay offered that when it came time to retire, she missed the time she shared facilitating writing assignments with students. Then she discovered OLLI. The first year, she took classes and observed how learners and instructors interacted as peers. Initially, this model of learning intimidated Metlay.

Metay became an OLLI facilitator in 2012, stating, "I quickly found the sheer joy that comes from working together with peers to produce the writing I had to learn to pull out of students. In OLLI, learners in my classes have taken prompts I shared with them, and produced breathtaking writing without any prodding."

For more information on OLLI of Sedona and the Verde Valley or to request a facilitator proposal form, please call 928-649-4275 or visit

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