Bits & Bytes Logo
Len Matheson and Terrry Matthews
OLLI staff hosted a Volunteer Instructor Appreciation event on March 23. Staff handed out rolls of Life Savers to the lifesavers who are so vital to our program. Instructors had a chance to catch up with each other, have some cookies, coffee, and tea, and hear a little bit about OLLI All Year.

"OLLI offers our over 700 members more than 200 classes a year," Program Director Ann Nikolai told instructors, "and that's only possible because of you. You teach OLLI members about everything from drawing to foreign policy. You lead them in discussions about important issues and knitting patterns alike. And you take them on outdoor adventures in Chico and beyond. We appreciate you and your dedication to continued learning for our whole OLLI community."

We hope that next time you’re in class, you’ll also take a moment to thank your instructors for all they do for OLLI.

Pictured: OLLI instructors Len Matheson and Terry Matthews at the Volunteer Instructor Appreciation event.
We're so excited to tell you about OLLI All Year, starting in Fall 2023!

What are my membership options?

When we open up fall membership on July 3, you'll have two different options for membership.

  • With À La Carte Membership, you pay a $50 membership fee. Your membership is good for three consecutive terms and you pay per-class fees for each class you take each term.
  • With Unlimited Membership, you pay a $300 membership fee. Your membership is good for three consecutive terms and you pay no additional class fees.

You can choose to do either one of these membership options. And if you try out the À La Carte Membership and decide you want to take more classes, you can upgrade to Unlimited Membership within the first six months.

Visit the OLLI All Year page on our website for all the details. Or contact the OLLI office at or 530-898-6679 with any questions.
Five actors rehearsing for The Perils of the Pink Envelope
Come enjoy the OLLI Virtual Play Festival performed on Zoom and screened in the Gordon 1 classroom at The Social Chico.

Watch with us, at no charge, this Thursday, and be treated to four short comedies written, directed, and performed by OLLI members from Chico, Rhode Island, New York, North Carolina, Alabama, and Colorado!

Virtual Play Festival Screening
Today, April 13, 3pm
Gordon 1, The Social Chico

Popcorn provided!

Proof of vaccination is required for all in-person events. Click here for instructions.

Pictured: Actors rehearsing for The Perils of the Pink Envelope on Zoom.
A person holding up a sign that says Laugh
The OLLI Play Festival is also coming back to the live stage this summer! Come join in the fun - on stage, back stage, or in the audience!

In-Person Play Festival Auditions
April 17, 1-4pm
April 18, 3-5pm

Auditions will be held in the Gordon 1 classroom at The Social Chico. Rehearsals will run May 1-June 14. Performances are June 15-17.

Proof of vaccination is required for all in-person events. Click here for instructions.

For more information please contact Pam Loyd at
Spain’s Classics & Portugal – A fully-guided, in-person tour, Spring '24
We're excited to announce our next overseas trip, taking place in April 2024!

Embark on an Iberian adventure as you take in medieval architecture, idyllic landscapes and delectable cuisine. Your 15 days and 20 meals will be guided by seasoned tour guides from Collette, a favorite touring company of other OLLIs in the national Osher network. This OLLI-exclusive experience promises a memorable journey in the company of friends.

Shades of Ireland – A fully-guided, in-person tour, Fall '23

Our first overseas trip will travel to Ireland in September 2023. While the deadline for discounted pricing has passed, the trip is still open to registrations. Join the 16 people already signed up and tour Ireland together!
Event photo from better together with three OLLI members talking and getting food
This year, we’re kicking off the summer term not with a preview but a picnic.

Join us for a potluck picnic lunch as we reconnect with old friends and welcome new learners to the OLLI community. This is a chance to eat, socialize, and even play a few rounds of bingo.

OLLI will highlight information about the four-week summer term and have staff on hand to assist with registration. Free and open to the public. Invite your friends!

Thursday, May 11, 11:30am-1pm

Free parking and beverages. Come learn what OLLI has planned for Summer!

Proof of vaccination is required for all in-person events. Click here for instructions.
Because hearing loss is often a gradual process, your hearing can deteriorate without you being aware of it. If you suspect you have hearing loss and are considering getting hearing aids, the first step should be to have your hearing professionally evaluated. An evaluation will test your ears individually for a variety of frequencies, plus determine what device will best fit your lifestyle. Don’t be fooled by the ads on TV for generic hearing aids, which are just amplifiers. What they are selling is not even close to what you will receive from a hearing aid specialist.

Chico Hearing Aid Center has two licensed hearing aid specialists with advanced education for precise fitting. They are dedicated to helping each client have the best hearing possible through prescription hearing aids designed for their specific needs and loss.

May is Better Hearing Month, a month dedicated to educating people about hearing health, and solutions for better hearing. As a kick-off for the month, Chico Hearing Aid Center will bring their Hearing Check Kiosk to The Social Chico for OLLI members next week.

The kiosk is an easy way to check your hearing and see if you should schedule a free hearing evaluation to see if you could benefit from hearing aids.

Hearing Check Kiosk
Wednesday, April 19, 12:30-3pm
Thursday, April 20, 12:30-3pm
Bradley 2 Lobby, The Social Chico
Earth Day has been celebrated in the US on April 22 since 1970 as a day to focus on environmental issues. The official theme of Earth Day 2023 is Invest In Our Planet.

The Endangered Earth Event
Join Butte Environmental Council for this day of action, advocacy, and education honoring 44 years of the Endangered Species Faire.

Saturday, April 22, 9am-8pm
9:30am Walk for Earth, Children’s Park
10:30am Climate Action Rally, Children’s Park
11am-2pm Heal Our Home Climate Action Volunteer Projects
5-8pm Environmental Community Gathering, CARD Community Center Rose Garden
Of Water and Wind
Enjoy an evening of songs invoking the four elements featuring Chico State's Acapella Choir and Chamber Singers.

Saturday, April 22, 7:30pm
Harlen Adams Theatre
OLLI is a lifelong learning program, and we want to give you as many chances to learn new things as we can. Every issue of Bits & Bytes – the newsletter you're reading right now – highlights at least one topic or event that relates to celebrating and learning more about people and perspectives that have been underrepresented in our broader world – with a focus on events happening right here in Chico whenever possible. We hope you'll click on links and attend events to learn something new about the world!

Here are just a few things you might learn about this month:
A bowl of dates with a sign that says Eid Mubarak
Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
Ramadan is a month-long religious observance during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and focus on prayer, reflection, and community. This year, Ramadan began at sundown on March 22 and ends at sundown on April 21.

Eid al-Fitr is the Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan and begins this year at sundown on April 21. Eid al-Fitr is one of two official Muslim holidays (the other is Eid al-Adha) and a joyful holiday with traditions that include a prayer service, new clothes, charitable donations, and feasting. The traditional greeting is "Eid Mubarak," meaning "Blessed Eid."

National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month
April is National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month. This is a chance to highlight and advocate for bilingual learners in schools of all type. Bilingual and multilingual learners in US schools include both students who are English learners and students whose first language is English and study another language.

The Office of English Language Acquisition has produced an infographic showing the many benefits of mutlilingualism (pdf), including the possibility of delaying age-related cognitive decline. Currently, 49 states and Washington DC award the Seal of Biliteracy to students "who have studied and demonstrated fluency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing another language in addition to English."

It's never too late to become a multilingual learner! OLLI offers a handful of language classes in Spanish and French.
An older man and woman in a car
California is facing continuing growth in the number of seniors residing in the state with 8.6 million adults aged 65 and older expected by 2030.

The California Highway Patrol's Age Well, Drive Smart program works to ensure older adults have access to continued driver's education and training to help keep roads safe for everyone. CHP community outreach volunteer Midge Vandervelden and CHP officer Frank Valdepena have brought this program to OLLI – and it's not too late to sign up.

You can register for the last one-time Age Well, Drive Smart class of the spring term and join Midge and Frank on Monday, April 17. Upon completion of this course you will be issued an Age Well, Drive Well certificate that can be presented to your insurance company for a possible discount.
Marvin Kalb headshot with the words Conversations with Marvin Kalb
Conversations with Marvin Kalb

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University invites you to join long-time Osher instructor and seasoned journalist Marvin Kalb who will discuss democracy and military strategy with General Stanley McChrystal, one of America’s great generals.
Friday, April 14, 8-9:30am, Pacific Time

Spring Online Lecture Series

OLLI at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) invites OLLI members from across the country to attend their weekly Pfaudler Lecture Series.

Your Children Are Very Greatly in Danger
Justin Murphy
Referencing never-before-seen archival documents and scores of new interviews, Justin Murphy discusses how discriminatory public policy and personal prejudice combined to create the racially segregated education system that exists in the Rochester area today.
Thursday, April 20, 9:15-10:30am, Pacific Time
Cary Ratcliff conducting
A Distinguished and Varied Life in Musical Composition and Performance
Cary Ratcliff
A native of California, Cary Ratcliff served as composer-in-residence at the Strasenburgh Planetarium where he created orchestral soundtracks for the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum.
Thursday, April 27, 9:15-10:30am, Pacific Time

The lecture series continues weekly through June 1. View the full schedule (pdf) and register for one or more lectures.
Deer with Shirley Poppy Hat watercolor by Eva Farley
Four local artists with Chico State connections will exhibit art that celebrates spring this Friday and Saturday. View weaving by Sandy Fisher and watercolors by Eva Farley, both Chico State graduates; oil paintings by retired Chico State art history professor Dolores Mitchelll and mosaics by former Chico State employee Jan Summerville.

Each of the artists spoke about their art and the exhibit. "I welcome entry into my home for Art on Arbutus," Sandy said. "I grew up in this house where the door was always open to others. I continue this tradition as I invite my community to share my passion for the arts."

Eva described her art as "whimsical watercolors in which local wildlife wear hats made of flowers from my garden." Jan Summerville's mosaic "was inspired by a beautiful humming bird that hovered in place to drink nectar in my front garden on a bright sunny day." Dolores Mitchell said, "Visitors will recognize in my paintings the flooded rice fields, green hills, orchards in bloom, and free-ranging sheep and cattle that characterize spring in the North State."

Friday, April 14, 2-7pm
Saturday Apr. 15, 10am-3pm

Pictured: Deer with Shirley Poppy Hat, Eva Fisher, watercolor.
Wildflower Show poster
Join the California Native Plant Society, Mount Lassen Chapter this Sunday for their first Wildflower Show since 2019!

The show includes wildflowers and other native plants on display; native plants, books, t-shirts, and posters on sale; and educational exhibits.

Sunday, April 16, 12-4pm
545 Vallombrosa Ave., Chico
$5 Admission
Bridgint The Gap 4 Water logo
The 15th annual Walk4Water is this Saturday.

Saturday, April 15, 8:30am
One Mile Recreation Area
$20 Registration
April 21
May 11
May 18
May 29
June 5
June 19
June 30
Last Day of Spring Classes
Summer Class Registration Opens
Memorial Day (OLLI Closed)
First Day of Summer Classes
Juneteenth (OLLI Office Closed)
Last Day of Summer Classes

If you have something to say, a photo to share, or a question to pose to the editor, you can submit information using our OLLI Newsletter Submission form.