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.

There's Still Time to Register for Fall Courses!

There are still seats available in courses starting in November. Check the Quick Pick List on our website for more details.

Community Advisory Council Update

We welcome Jennifer Owens, President and CEO of the Arlington Community Foundation (ACF) to our Community Advisory Council (CAC).  Jennifer joined the ACF last year and is pleased to join Encore Learning's CAC as she has a personal interest in lifelong learning. She also welcomes conversations with Encore Learning members who want to learn more about the ACF. E stablished in 2006, the CAC serves as a sounding board and network of support for Encore Learning's Board of Directors. The CAC is comprised of community leaders and representatives from our affiliates. We call on their broad, deep and diverse experience to review acquisition of classroom and office space, membership levels and diversity, recruitment of instructors, and additional affiliations. The expertise they bring to the discussion is invaluable.

News and Photos

Encore Learning Presents...

National Park Service Ranger and historian at the Civil War Defenses of Washington (CWDW) Steve Phan spoke on "The Civil War Defenses of Washington D.C." at Central Library on September 9.

Photo courtesy David Tate.

On September 23, Didier Rousselet spoke at Central Library about his 600 mile walk across Great Britain. Read about it in The Arlington Connection.

Photo courtesy The Arlington Connection.

On October 21, former federal prosecutor and senior FBI official Chuck Rosenberg led a fascinating discussion about current events and the rule of law, including his analysis of the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, and the implications of Mueller's work. See the news item and photos on our website for more details.

More Special Events: Tours

On October 1, our members visited the "Within these Halls" Exhibit at the U.S. National Capital Visitor's Center.  The staff-guided tour shared the stories of the women who set the stage for equality - in the setting where the 19th amendment was ratified. Thanks to members Julie Mangis and Marilyn Marton who helped coordinate at the last mintute and took these great photos!

On October 17, member-volunteer Louise Kenny coordinated another walking tour of Old Town - this one with tour guide and local author Garrett Peck featuring breweries, Alexandria's alleys, and other architectural gems. Louise reports:  Windy, a bit chilly but informative and fun. We concluded with a beer or glass of wine in a local pub. Thanks to Louise for coordinating and providing these photos.

On October 18, members got a special treat - a tour of the National Park Seminary, which now survives as a private residence. It was never a seminary in the way that we use the word today and got its name in 1887 because it was near the new Rock Creek Park. Member Steve Spangler describes the tour this way:

"What is this place?"
That was the initial reaction of  the fourteen Encore Learning members who toured the National Park Seminary. We learned that the National Park Seminary is a unique, beautiful and surprising historical and architectural treasure. 

The first structure on the site was Ye Forrest Inne, built in 1887 as a suburban resort hotel. In 1894 the hotel was converted into the National Park Seminary, a two-year boarding school for young women. Beginning in 1942 the site was converted to a place where wounded soldiers from World War II through the Vietnam era were restored to health. Thirty years ago group of public and private groups began restoring the buildings, converting them to residences.
We were fascinated by this place, largely hidden from view inside a tree-lined bend of the Beltway in Silver Spring.

Thanks to member Mary Louise Cohen for arranging the tour details with our Special Events Committee Chair, Kris McLaughlin. Thanks to Special Events Committee Member Joanne Jones for coordinating on site. Thanks to Steve Spangler for the photos.

Fun with the Cinema Club

For their October 3 outing, the Cinema Club went to see  Judy and ate at bartaco in the Mosaic District. Club Co-coordinator Lee Cooper's recaps are almost as entertaining as the events - never dull, that's for sure! If you'd like to join the Cinema Club, just send an email to and we'll add you to the list. Thanks again to Lee and Kathie Burch for coordinating and to Lee for the photos.

L-R, front row: Sandra Borden Cheryl Silkwood Kathie Burch. 
L-R, back row: Carol Dawson, Lee Cooper.

All from left to right. Top left: Carter Vaden, Marilyn Keel, Ann Lang. Top Right: Cheryl Silkwood and Carol Dawson. Bottom left: Dru Dowdy Sandra Borden, Lynne Morsen. Bottom right: Louise Cooper and Kathie Burch.

Left side of the table, front to back: Cheryl Silkwood, Carol Dawson, co-coordinators Lee Cooper and Kathie Burch.  Right side of table, front to back: Ann Lang, Marilyn Keel, Carter Vaden, Lynne Morsen, Sandra Borden, Dru Dowdy

Encore Learning Participates in Chamber of Commerce Fund Raiser at Miniature Golf Course

We're always supporting education - especially if there is fun or golf involved! On September 24, the Chamber held its 14th Annual Scholar's Cup fundraiser. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Rich Doud Arlington Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund. The Chamber's Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to two graduating Arlington high school students each year using funds raised through donations and at the annual Scholar's Cup Tournament. Thanks to the current and former board members who participated on our behalf.

From left to right: David Rhoad, Ed Rader, Mike Morton,
Steve Spangler and Jack Royer. Photo courtesy Ed Rader.

Instructor News and Happenings

Like so many of you, our instructors are busy people. We asked them to share recent news and upcoming events that may be of interest to you.

As you might have seen our our Facebook page, Elizabeth Jones Valderrama was recently profiled by Arlington Magazine.

Nan Morrison and her friends at the Columbia Pike Artists Studio are having an open house - details below:

Tom Whipple recently published  The Great Energy Transition: A Volatile World.

A. Scott Wood performed in an October 20 concert featuring the film scores of Terence Blanchard. The composer is a multi-Grammy-winner and his soundtracks include Mo Better Blues, Malcolm X, the Oscar-nominated score for BlacKkKlansman, and Harriet, which premieres on October 31. Scott conducted the Middleburg Film Festival Orchestra and Blanchard's 5-piece band.

Terence Blanchard and Scott Wood. Photo courtesy Scott Wood.

You can catch Scott conducting the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra at their first concert of the season this Sunday, November 3, 2019.

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.

Staff Corner

I have enjoyed greeting many of you in the halls of Van Metre during our first weeks of classes. Stepping into the back of a class to listen for a few minutes as Elizabeth Shelton tells a joke or David Keegan introduces some Chinese vocabulary has instilled in me the incredible value of our courses. I have found every interaction with members and instructors to be welcoming, kind and appreciative. The community built by the members of Encore Learning over the past seventeen years is heartwarming and inspiring.

Navigating to Class
Were you one of the members who came to class and couldn't find the room, or perhaps you came to class and found out that the course started the next week?  Dates and rooms can change and if this happens after a course has commenced, you will be notified via email. If you miss seeing the email, the only way to have the most current information about dates and locations is for you to log in to Member Account Manager.

A volunteer-led organization of over 1000 members requires a lot of self-service on the part of our members. If you have a question about your personal course, class media, or special event registrations, your first course of action should be to log in to Member Account Manager and look for the information. If you have a general question, check our website.

You might want to consider adding both sites to the home screen on your smart phone.

Main site:

Member Account Manager login:

iPad or iPhone:
  1. Launch "Safari" app.  This does not work from the "Chrome" app.
  2. Enter into the address field the URL of the website you want to create a shortcut to. Tap "Go."
  3. Tap the icon featuring a right-pointing arrow coming out of a box along the top of the Safari window to open a drop-down menu.
  4. Tap "Add to Home Screen." The Add to Home dialog box will appear, with the icon that will be used for this website on the left side of the dialog box.
  5. Enter the name for the shortcut using the on-screen keyboard and tap "Add." Safari will close automatically and you will be taken to where the icon is located on your iPad's desktop.  
  1. Launch "Chrome" app.
  2. Open the website or web page you want to pin to your home screen.
  3. Tap the menu icon (3 dots in upper right-hand corner) and tap Add to homescreen.
  4. You'll be able to enter a name for the shortcut and then Chrome will add it to your home screen.
Here are important links for your convenience - all can be found under QUICK LINKS at right at :

Member Account Manager Login - Once you have logged in, check under the My Activities Tab to find class dates, times, locations, room numbers, skip dates, recommended reading and class media. Click on SPECIAL EVENTS at right to register for any current event or its waitlist.

Calendar  -  check dates/times for upcoming special events and clubs

Classroom Locations - maps and parking info for each

FAQs - QuickStart Guides, Hearing and A/V videos, Registration Policy & Procedures, Inclement Weather info, Visitor Policy and more

Please read confirmation emails completely. For Special Events, if you are registered (not on the waitlist) the directions and other important notes will be included in your confirmation email. For Courses, your recommended reading and course skip dates will be included.

Regular office hours 
The office is open Monday through Friday  from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M., except holidays. 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


- Spring 2020 Course Preview Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 9:00 A.M. 

- Registration Opens Monday, February 3, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. sharp

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

Barbara Abbey
John Alarie
Marianne Beith
Evelyne Beninson
Carri Berenson
Solveig-Lynn Bowers
Elizabeth Brew
George Brockway
Mary Bullock
Mary Beth Chambers
Martin Cohen
Diane Coleman
Karin Croft
Rita Cronley
Pam DiRamio
Beth Doughty
Jean Falvey
Jerry Ferguson
Peggy Ferguson
Alan Geralnick
Bruce Gregoire
Laurie Hand
Michael Hara
Cheryl Hatch
Bailey Heflin
Jeannine Hensley
JoAnn Kokindo
Tom Laverty
Charles Mandolia
Hallie Marcotte
Cheryl Mendonsa
Jean Milliken
Madelaine Morgan
Edward O'Brien
Ralston Read
Karin Ringheim
Thomas Roberson
Daniel Rubinstein
Rosanne Russo
Rachel Sacco
Harvey Shapiro
Jayme Sophir
MaryEllen Stahley
Joseph Stone
James Warlick
Donald Weinstein
Ephie Weitzner
Ivy Weitzner
Laurie Young

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

Bunny Ball
Donna Banks
Sandra Borden
Lisa Cosgrove-Davies
Rita Cronley
Mary Crosby
Fayonne Doughty
Beth Dowd
Tom Falvey
Alan Geralnick
Mike Hara
Barbara Keish
Nancy Lammers
Carolyn Lynch
Mike Morton
George Pick
Rachel Sacco
Stan Shapiro
Martha Trunk
Don Weinstein
Rebeca Weinstein
Pat Wynns

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.

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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: .

Teach, Learn, Share, Grow, Explore with Others 50+