Lifelong Learners Program

Program Description

Enjoy our classes that are designed for anyone 55 years or better, but all adult learners are welcome.

The Lifelong Learner Lunches are offered during the day at various venues in the Quad-Cities area. Our guest speakers focus on topics of local interest.

Look for the classes marked with the tree icon in the current catalog for the Lifelong Learners offerings.

Lifelong Learner Classes

Are you thinking about getting a computer or need to brush up on your Windows skills? Take a look at our computer classes, several which are specifically designed for our Lifelong Learners program. Have you always wanted to learn how to draw or paint or do your skills need some fine-tuning? Then click the button below to read more about the arts and craft class offerings!

• Getting Started with Your Computer Workshop
• Windows for Beginners Workshop
• Organizing Your Files and Folders
• Cleaning Up Your Computer
• Moving to Windows 10
• Pinterest Workshop
• Facebook Workshop
• Emailing Workshop
• Word 101 Workshop
• Excel 101 Workshop
Full List of Computer Classes »

Arts & Crafts
• Techniques and Tips in Watercolor – Beginners
• Techniques and Tips in Watercolor – Intermediate
• Paint Your Home, Barn or Favorite Building in Watercolor
• Basics of Drawing for Beginners
• Drawing Animals and the Birds of Spring
• Drawing the Face – Creating Self-Portraits/Portraits



George Orwell’s ‘1984’
Join us for this three-part series as we discuss George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, originally published in 1949 and set in the year 1984.
Book must be read before attending any of the classes below.


The History Behind ‘1984 ‘
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz
What is the history behind why this book was written? A common question prior to World War II was: Could it happen here? What did it mean? Why did this concern re-emerge after World War II? All attendees are encouraged to read a copy of “1984” prior to attending this session.
1 Wednesday      Apr. 10                           9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 11323          Outreach – Rm. 407    Fee $10


The Plot, the Characters and is it Reality?
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz
Let’s explore the plot and characters of “1984.” How much of this plot was based on reality at the time the book was written and how much was speculative? We will view some clips of the classic film “1984” released in 1984 as part of our discussion.
1 Wednesday      Apr. 17                               9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 11324           Outreach – Rm. 407       Fee $10

Why is this classic still relevant today?
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz
How relevant is this book to us today? Many phrases and words such as Big Brother, doublethink, thought crime and memory hole have entered into common language since its publication in 1949. The adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state, was made popular in 1948.
1 Wednesday      Apr. 24                             9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 11325           Outreach – Rm. 407     Fee $10


JFK and the Kennedy Family
Presenter: Dr. Art Pitz

Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald – A Brief History of the Kennedy Family
Joseph Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald married in 1914 and had nine children, three of which became politicians. He was a leading member of the Democratic Party and of the Irish Catholic community while Rose took on philanthropic work. Rose passed away at the age of 104, outliving four of her nine children.
1 Thursday    July 11                           9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 50299    Outreach – Rm. 407   Fee $10


The Kennedy Tragedies and Scandals
A secret lobotomy, hidden affairs, assassinations and tragedies are often thought of when the name Kennedy is mentioned. Join us as we discuss some of the events that led to the term “Kennedy Curse” and how the famous family overcame them.
1 Thursday      July 18                            9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 50300     Outreach – Rm. 407     Fee $10


Camelot, the fictional story of a world ruled by King Arthur is also synonymous with the iconic Kennedy Presidency and administration. The term Camelot was first used to describe JFK’s presidency by Jackie Kennedy in an interview after her husband’s assassination. We will discuss the reality of what Camelot was and why Jackie wanted the term used.
1 Thursday       July 25                               9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 50301      Outreach – Rm. 407       Fee $10


Where were you November 22, 1963 when you heard about JFK? Shortly after being shot while riding in a presidential motorcade in Dallas, TX, President Kennedy was pronounced dead. Within hours Lyndon Johnson, with Jacqueline Kennedy at his side in her famous blood stained pink suit, took the oath of office while on Air Force One with JFK’s remains on board. Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby and their roles in this national tragedy will also be discussed.
1 Thursday      Aug. 1                                 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 81044      Outreach – Rm. 407        Fee $10


JFK and the Kennedy Family Legacy
Because of the iconic image of Camelot, the traumatic nature of his death and how it was relayed through modern media as well as other reasons, JFK remains an icon. Having been a key figure in several major events of the time, including the Cuban Missile crisis, the Space Program, and the Civil Rights Movement, to name just a few, a lasting impact was made. Join us as we discuss the legacy of JFK and the Kennedy family.
1 Thursday         Aug. 8                                  9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
CRN 81045        Outreach – Rm. 406          Fee $10


Mr. U. S. GRANT: A Man & A Patriot!
Presenter: Dan Haughey, Actor, Storyteller, and Teaching-Artist
Born in 1822, Ulysses S. Grant held many titles, most notably general and 18th president of the United States. He was one of the most notable military officers during the Civil War and continues to be a figure of great interest. Join us for Dan Haughey’s performance in a first-person, one-act play focusing on Grant’s early years and rise to Civil War fame as general of the Union armies.

Date: Wednesday, April 24
Location: Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, IL
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.
Presentation: 12:15 p.m.
Fee: $23 (Fee includes admission to the Botanical Center)
Last day to register or receive a refund: April 17
CRN: 11328


Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City
Presenter: Kelly Rundle, Documentarian and Filmmaker of 4th Wall Films
Join us as documentarian and filmmaker Kelly Rundle discusses and shows the 20-minute Emmy-nominated film that tells the fascinating and forgotten story of the Blood Run National Historic Landmark as told by a Native American grandfather to his grandchildren. The Good Earth site in Iowa and South Dakota was occupied between 1500 and 1725 by ancestors of the present-day Omaha, Ponca, Ioway and Otoe-Missouria tribes, making it one of the oldest long-term habitation sites in the United States. At its peak around 1650, the site was home to 6,000-10,000 residents – more than Boston (2,000) and New York (New Amsterdam – 1,000) in that same year. The once-vibrant city is an important part of our history.
Date: Thursday, May 16
Location: Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, IL
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.
Presentation: 12:15 p.m.
Fee: $23 (Fee includes admission to the Botanical Center)
Last day to register or receive a refund: May 9
CRN: 50225


Civil War Women: Annie Wittenmyer, Mary Ann Bickerdyke and Lizzie Aiken
Presenter: Dr. Maryan Wherry
Join us as we explore the lives of three local women who served with the Union Army. Annie Wittenmyer was an advocate for soldiers and war orphans. Her work reformed the horrible conditions of military hospitals and created several orphanages, including the Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home. “Mother” Mary Ann Bickerdyke was responsible for establishing 300 field hospitals during the Civil War and employed former and escaped slaves in some of them. “Aunt Lizzie” Aiken was a young widow living in Peoria County who had lost all four of her young sons. She showed up one day at the headquarters of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, also known as The Governor Yates Legion, to serve her country. She nursed and performed missionary duties among soldiers in the sick tents near Peoria.
Date: Wednesday, June 19
Location: Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, IL
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.
Presentation: 12:15 p.m.
Fee: $23 (Fee includes admission to the Botanical Center)
Last day to register or receive a refund: June 12
CRN: 50235


Quarters One: Jewel of the Island
Presenter: Dr. Maryan Wherry
For nearly one hundred and fifty years, Quarters One has graced Arsenal Island. Home to thirty-eight commanding officers and their families from 1872 through 2006, Quarters One remains one of the most elaborate and elegant houses in the area as well as the second-largest federal residence in the United States, behind the White House. The location, directly across from the Confederate Prisoner of War Camp, where over 1,900 Confederate POW’s perished during the camp’s existence, has also added to the intrigue of this beautiful structure.
Date: Wednesday, July 24
Location: Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Avenue, Rock Island, IL
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.
Presentation: 12:15 p.m.
Fee: $23 (Fee includes admission to the Botanical Center)
Last day to register or receive a refund: July 17
CRN: 50236