Nonprofit expands to reach older adults in the Metro East
St. Louis Oasis, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to enriching the lives of older adults headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., is partnering with AgeSmart to expand its footprint to Illinois.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, April 14, 2023, at its new location within AgeSmart at 801 W. State Street, in O’Fallon, Ill. The event also included a variety of activities, program demonstrations and overviews, class registration and refreshments.
Oasis seeks to provide a means of intellectual stimulation and social connection through interactive courses and volunteer opportunities. Since 1982, Oasis has served over 587,000 older adults with more than 7,600 lifelong learning classes. More than 3,500 health classes are offered nationwide each year. Classes range in a variety of topics, from art and history to pop culture, fitness, current events, science, and technology/digital literacy skills, with new courses continually added to the roster. Evidence-based programs include fall prevention, chronic disease self–management, and peer-led discussion groups. Oasis also provides exercise, nutrition, healthy living, and wellness classes.
More than 6,200 adults volunteer through Oasis each year and have provided a combined 13.7 million volunteer hours, worth more than $400 million since 1982. The organization’s largest program, Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring, connects retired individuals with opportunities to serve as literacy tutors in school districts across the country, and has supported more than 525,000 K-12 students who struggle with reading comprehension skills.
Oasis Connections, the organization’s award-winning technology training program, has offered over 25,000 classes since 2000. The program is designed specifically for older adult learners and taught by fellow older adults, with over 30 courses covering a wide range of basic to intermediate skills on mobile devices, PCs and education on cyber security.
Launched in 2020, Oasis Everywhere is the newest program addition, offering virtual classes via Zoom from Oasis centers across the country led by top instructors and subject matter experts. Oasis Everywhere Virtual Learning to date has reached 153 communities with 11,547 participants and the program continues to grow.
“The many classes I have taken and continue to take have broadened my knowledge of local and international affairs, deepened my knowledge of favorite subjects, and helped me form new friendships,” reports Oasis Everywhere user Louis Evangelista. “Oasis is my wellspring of expanded knowledge and social contact, both in person and on Zoom, which proved especially important and significant during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
About St. Louis Oasis
The Oasis Institute is a national nonprofit organization in St. Louis, Mo., founded in 1982, centered on a mission to serve adults ages 50 and over, during a time when many programs for older adults were oriented around childish games and passive activities. Today, 40 years later, The Oasis Network includes the Oasis headquarters in St. Louis, a national network of nine educational centers, spanning the country coast to coast, and program partners in nearly 250 communities across the country. Oasis’ tutoring program serves older adults interested in teaching or mentoring through partnerships in education and school districts. Volunteer programs help older adults fulfill the satisfaction of joy that comes with giving back to their communities. The nonprofit’s interactive educational courses help to reduce social isolation among seniors in droves. For more information about the Oasis Institute and available programs, visit @OasisInstitute on Facebook and Twitter, on LinkedIn at The Oasis Institute, or via their website www.oasisnet.org.