The Oasis Institute Overview
Programs: Education: OASIS staff work with their local communities and with members to develop educational programs. Each center publishes a catalog of course offerings three times a year. Topics include arts and humanities, science, health and health promotion, technology, financial planning, consumer affairs and cultural events. Educational formats range from one-time classes to in-depth series lasting six weeks or more. The Institute develops national program models and provides curricula, materials and support for their implementation. One example is Lewis & Clark: Journey to Another America, developed with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Health: Mature adults are keenly interested in learning how they can maintain their health and independence. The Institute has developed HealthStages TM as a proactive program designed to reduce health risks for mature adults by helping them understand and address their changing health needs. Fifteen courses cover nutrition, exercise, disease management, sensory changes, mental health, memory and general health promotion. In 2002, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided funds to The Institute to pilot a health program, Active Living Every Day, that encourages mature adults to become more active as they age based on the research that ties late-life physical activity to successful aging. In 2003, the U.S. Administration on Aging awarded the Los Angeles Department of Aging a demonstration grant in which OASIS serves as the contractor to provide an intervention model to increase physical activity among mature adults in the Los Angeles area. Technology: OASIS Connections is a program to help mature adults use technology and the Internet to connect with friends, family, information and resources by expanding Internet training, increasing access to the Internet and providing volunteer opportunities using technology. It provides Internet access and training available through new computer labs and educational programs, made possible by a grant from the Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) of the United States Department of Commerce with additional support from SBC Foundation and May Department Stores Company. A newly designed OASIS website, www.oasisnet.org, is used in the classes and provides a way for mature adults to communicate, post messages, shop, research and learn on-line. Volunteerism: OASIS volunteers provide service as mentors to youth at risk, instructors, center assistants, and in community service projects. Currently, 8,000 volunteers have contributed more than 612,200 hours. Through OASIS? Intergenerational Tutoring Program, tutors are trained and work one-on-one each week with 5-9 year-old children in elementary schools to build the child?s reading skills and confidence. OASIS cooperates with 103 school districts and 925 schools in 21 cities. Currently, nearly 6,000 tutors work with 13,000 children annually.
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