The Inside Scoop - for Members Only
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Welcome to  The Inside Scoop , our electronic  newsletter for  members only.
Please  enjoy this issue,  and  share your feedback  by email. We always look forward to hearing from you.

Introducing our new Executive Director, Lora Pollari-Welbes

To read more about Lora's professional background, see the announcement posted on July 8, 2019.

As with our Board of Directors, we'd like you to get to know Lora a little better. She writes:

My first day at Encore Learning began with bailing buckets of water from my basement entrance during that epic rainfall of July. I was relieved to arrive at the office and meet with my two splendid colleagues, Beth Dowd and Patty Rowland, and then meet with our amazing President, Art Gosling. I am a person who assumes the positive, and so this big flood on my first day fits with the folklore of "spilling water for luck" that when one embarks on a journey spilling water will bring good luck. I am happy to share a little more of my story and how I got here.

I have been a fan of Encore Learning since its inception. I was working at the Arlington Community Foundation and learned about the organization while exploring community engagement for older adults. Encore Learning brings so many of my passions together. I value taking a contemplative approach and talking things over with people, whether to solve community problems or appreciate a shared experience. I value that we provide opportunities for members to keep their minds active and experience life more meaningfully. I look forward to working with our Board and other volunteers to ensure Encore Learning's sustainability and continued growth. I am inspired by the love of life and learning and the dedication of our members, volunteers, and instructors.

Lora, her husband Matt and daughter Kate, upon Kate's graduation
from W-L in 2018

We moved to Arlington 27 years ago and did not expect to stay for more than a couple of years. I grew up and went to college in Minnesota. As the youngest of six children, I am the only child to move out of the land of 11,842 lakes. Clearly, we found this to be a wonderful place to live as a couple and a family. We explore and appreciate the rich history and culture of Greater Washington and the mid-Atlantic.  

Two of Lora's happy places - the beach and Lost River State Park, an annual fall trip that she's been making for 25 years.

When I'm not at George Mason or Syphax you might find me cooking in my kitchen, weeding at my plot at 10th and Barton community garden, on a bicycle jaunt, or at a nightclub seeing live music. They say that seeing live music helps you live longer so I think I'm on the right track. My cooking tends to run in phases, with my current being recipes from Ottolenghi, a Mediterranean chef based in London.

In August I will visit my Mom in Wisconsin, where we will spend hours chatting on the deck by the lake, playing cards, and tending her garden. 

I look forward to getting to know you, and sharing stories of our journeys, gardening tips or Arlington trivia.   

Save the Date! Fall 2019 Course Preview 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Doors open at 8:45 A.M.
Program begins at 9:15 A.M.
and ends at 12:30 P.M.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Ballston

Encore Learning instructors give brief presentations about their academic courses.

Open to current and prospective members. Bring friends, relatives and neighbors!

Registration opens at 10:00 A.M. sharp on Monday, September 9.

News and Photos

Even though classes are out for the summer, our Clubs and Special Events have been keeping our members busy.

On July 15, new instructor Jim Grefer spoke about  Pre-Civil War Tariff Conflicts:  Learn How Past Lessons Apply Today   as part of our Encore Learning Presents series at Arlington's Central Library. Learn more from Jim by taking his course 3015.34: Economic History of Antebellum US: North and South this fall. Details will be in the catalog - coming soon!

On July 17, members enjoyed a tour of the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in the steamy heat! Thanks to member-volunteer Michelle Trahan for organizing and taking these photos:

On July 18, our Cinema Club went to see Yesterday and ate at Copperwood Tavern afterward. Thanks to Cinema Club Co-chair Lee Cooper for these photos:

Staff Corner

Summer office hours remain in effect through Labor Day. The office is open on Tuesdays  from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. through Labor Day. Details are listed on our calendar . Please contact us ahead of time if you require a face to face meeting.  To reach us, call 703-228-2144 or send an email to

-- Lora Pollari-Welbes, Executive Director

Connecting Friends with Encore Learning

We're often referred to as the "best kept secret in Arlington." New members join mostly because they hear about Encore Learning from a friend.  When joining online, new members may enter a "Referred by" name. We look forward to thanking you here in the newsletter - see below.

Bring friends to our  "Encore Learning Presents" series at Arlington Central Library. These lectures and films are open to the public and a great way for prospective members to learn more about us. Details can always be found in our list of upcoming  Special Events.

Share on social media. When you simply like our Facebook page or share our Facebook posts and events to your social network, it's a huge help.

Like us on Facebook

  • Volunteers are always needed. If you'd like to get more involved, please email us.
  • Check our calendar for Special Events, Club meetings, and office holiday closures.
Welcome New Members

In June  2019, the following new members joined Encore Learning. Please be sure to give these folks a warm welcome.

Jim Cregan
Srimati Karuna
Natalia Lord
Thomas McCabe
Dan Sherman
Sharyn Tully

Please email the office with any corrections.

Photos, Photos, Photos...

We all love looking at them and it seems we can never get enough here in the office. Please share your photos of Encore Learning activities with us. The higher the resolution of the photo, the better (1 MB or higher). Shots taken on your mobile phone are great! Just email them to us and if we use your photos, we will make sure to acknowledge you as the photographer. We can't use thumbnails, though, so please check your photo size settings prior to emailing.

Don't Want to Wait for the Next Edition of The Inside Scoop?


Donations are Always Welcome

Encore Learning is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Any donation is a charitable contribution deductible from income tax to the full extent permitted by law. Members, friends and organizations wishing to support Encore Learning may direct contributions to our  General Fund  or to our  Arlington Youth Scholarship .

We hope you enjoyed this edition of  The Inside Scoop . If you would like to submit an article or share some photos of members participating in Encore Learning activities, please email Beth Dowd: .
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