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.

You're Invited:
Spring 2020 Course Preview! 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

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

  Van Metre Hall (formerly Founders Hall)
George Mason University Arlington Campus
3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22201

Encore Learning instructors give brief presentations about their upcoming courses.

Open to current and prospective members. Bring friends, relatives and neighbors and your catalog! Members, please wear your name badges so that we may more easily greet each other.

FREE PARKING, NO VALIDATION REQUIRED - the garage gate will be open.

To become a member or to renew membership, we recommend our website, where you can pay securely with your credit card. If you wish to purchase or renew your membership at the course preview, only personal checks can be accepted.

This is your opportunity to hear about courses first-hand so that you can make the best selections when REGISTRATION opens Monday, February 3, at 10:00 A.M. sharp.

Check YES when asked if you want to be a Class Aide

"The best part about being a class aide is having human engagement and having fun meeting new people."

"I like that I get extra time with the instructors and I love the free parking!"

These are quotes shared by members who volunteered as Class Aides during our Fall 2019 semester.

Class Aides sharing stories and making suggestions while enjoying coffee together on January 16, 2020. There is a Class Aide coffee after every semester to talk about what might be improved in the coming semester.

** Correction ** to the Special Events email of last week:

The Census is Coming! (Maybe you've heard?)

We are a proud Arlington 2020 Census Partner. In the coming months, we'll continue to share information with you - here's another article from Arlington County on why it's important and how to respond. 

On January 13, we held our first census related event at Central Library.

Our panel of experts (left to right) engages the crowd: Bryna Helfer,  Assistant County Manager , Director of Communication and Public Engagement; Alvenia Y. McQueen, Lead Partnership Specialist and Congressional Liaison, U.S. Census Bureau; Katie Cristol, Arlington County Board member; and Wanda Pierce, co-chair for Arlington County Complete Count Committee.

Our next census event will be held on March 19 at GMU Arlington Campus at 4 P.M.  More details coming soon. Everyone Counts!

Clubs Add New Members at Open House

On January 10, 2020, we held our second annual Clubs Open House at the Fairlington Community Center. It was very well attended and many members joined new clubs. Thanks to Tom Adams for bringing coffee, tea and treats. Special thanks to all of our Club Coordinators, for manning their tables, answering many questions and all the work they do year round. And thanks to Barbara Spangler and George Hobart for answering questions about volunteering with the Academic Programs and Special Events Committees. If you'd like to join  one of our ten clubs, please email the office at  Here are a few photos - see who you can recognize!

Bridge Club Celebrates the Holidays

The Bridge Club met at the Fairlington Villages Community Center on December 12, 2019 to celebrate another year of fun, friendship, and of course, cards. Thanks to Lee Cooper for the photos - our photographer extraordinaire! All captions are in left to right order.

Student Essay on Jobim Course Published

Member Marilia Mota Silva wrote a lovely essay about Instructor Richard (Dick) Juhnke's "Antonio Carlos Jobim" course for an online journal on Brazilian culture. We've posted Dick's translation on our website. Enjoy!

Dick visited Brazil this month - on the 23rd, we got the following message from him via email:

"Today I visited O Instituto Antônio Carlos Jobim, which houses Jobim's archives and is headed by his son Paulo, and I was excited (to say the least) to meet and visit with Paulo. He and his staff were delighted to receive the catalog and Marília's essay."

Instructor Dick Juhnke and Paulo Jobim at O Instituto Antônio Carlos Jobim in Brazil, January 2020. Photo courtesy Dick Juhnke.

Interested in serving on our Board of Directors?

Several positions are coming open in May 2020. You must have previously served as a volunteer with Encore Learning. Look for an email announcement with more details in February. If you are interested, please contact the office at 703-228-2144 or and we will pass it along to the Nominating Committee for consideration.

Partner News and Happenings - George Mason University

On January 30, 2020,  You and a guest are invited to join the Schar Alumni Chapter and Dean Mark Rozell for an evening of connecting with Schar School alumni and students!   Professor Bonnie Stabile will conduct an exciting interview with Secretary James as they discuss her new book  Aim High: Chart Your Course and Find Success. Her book will be available for purchase and signing.

On Monday, December 16, 2019, Art and Lora presented a check to George Mason University, awarding funds to the support the Schar School Alumni Scholarship and the John T. McCracken Scholarship.

Left to right: Arthur Gosling, President, Encore Learning; Lora Pollari-Welbes, Executive Director, Encore Learning; Mark Rozell, Dean, Schar School of Policy and Government;  Colin Hart, Chapter President, Schar School of Policy and Government Alumni. 
Photo by Zavin Smith, GMU

Staff Corner

Waitlists - they really DO work!

We encourage you to join waitlists for both Special Events and Courses. We are often able to move people as we frequently get cancellations. We also look at the demand for a certain class or event, and will schedule an additional event or expand the size of a class when we can.

In order for our waitlists to work, however, we do need timely cancellations from our members. Please let us know as soon as you can if you cannot make an event or want to drop a class. You cannot drop or cancel online -the best way to cancel is to email the office at 

Office hours 

The Syphax building office is open Monday through Friday  from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M., except holidays. The office will be closed February 17 in observance of Presidents 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 
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

- Courses begin the week of March 9, 2020
- Annual Meeting will be held on May 21, 2020 
  • 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 December  2019, the following new members joined Encore Learning. Please be sure to give these folks a warm welcome.

Janis Anderson
Kathy Arnos
Barbara Brennan
Melvin Edgerley
Gregory Maassen
Kate McCauley
Tonya Neaves
Phillip Rotondi
Michael Stutts

And a huge THANK YOU to the following members, instructors and staff for referring friends and family:

Liz Hoeffer
Steve Shapiro
Diana Canova

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.

Free Help with Technology

Did you know... Our friends at Central Library offer  one on one technology help sessions and free technology classes from beginner to advanced.

And...  Arlington County's Walter Reed Senior Center also offers free tech help.  Call (703) 228-0955 to reserve your appointment.

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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