The Oasis Institute, is a local nonprofit educational organization dedicated to enriching the lives of adults ages 50+. Their mission is to promote healthy aging through lifelong learning, active lifestyles and volunteer engagement. The four areas of focus are lifelong learning, healthy habits, Intergenerational tutoring and technology literacy.
Affordably-priced classes are easily searchable and open for registration through the St. Louis Oasis for in-person and hybrid classes and Oasis Everywhere website for online classes. Available courses cover a variety of topics ranging from art and history to science, theology, cooking, technology, current events, health, and more.
Oasis partners with organizations that offer high quality evidenced-based programs.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT THIS YEAR? YOUR BIG FOCUS FOR THIS LAST YEAR?
In June of 2020, the big focus was on launching Oasis Everywhere, a virtual lifelong learning platform with an expansive menu of online classes aimed to provide seniors with social connections and enrichment during the COVID-19 pandemic when we had to suspend in-person programs nationally. Using Zoom video, Oasis Everywhere offers the “Best of Oasis” through live online courses led by top instructors from across the country, covering topics including history, healthy habits, exercise, technology literacy, art, science, politics, and more. Oasis Everywhere will remain a permanent option beyond the pandemic, operating in sync with in-person classes. Oasis Everywhere makes it possible for anyone in the U.S. to participate in exclusively curated classes and seminars streamed from Oasis Centers across the country.
We are most excited about ramping up our technology literacy efforts this year. While Oasis has been offering technology literacy training programs for older adults for nearly 20 years, the pandemic made it clear there is a vast equity gap for people with no access to computers. It is crucial for older adults to have technology literacy skills as a form of social connection in an increasingly digital world. Technology literacy education helps older adults looking for jobs or volunteer opportunities thrive in a technology-advanced society. We are focused on building partnerships with organizations across the country to deliver technology literacy programs.
WHAT IS SOMETHING NEW YOU ARE WORKING ON?
The Community Care grant aids other organizations whose focus is caregiving, particularly for low-income caregivers. We plan to continue establishing partnerships with other organizations that have a similar mission and collaborating and sharing the grant with other nonprofits.
Oasis is pleased to share that a contract with a Medicare Advantage plan has been secured. After many years of conversations and proposals, Oasis’ programs will be a Mandatory Service Benefit for the St. Louis market beginning in 2022. The name of the company is embargoed through fall 2021. This opportunity will provide an $80 credit to each member of the Medicare Advantage plan for qualified Oasis class. The opportunity to market Oasis programs to about 15,000 older adults in St. Louis will expose more people to Oasis’ programs.
Another new shift focuses on re-establishing the Oasis Tutoring Program within school districts, in-person. Reconnecting and acquiring new relationships with school districts is a top priority and we are making immense progress. Now more than ever, Oasis Tutors are needed to support parents and teachers in getting kids caught up after a year and a half of disruption to their education.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WANT OUR MEMBERS TO KNOW ABOUT OASIS?
St. Louis Oasis & Oasis Everywhere classes are available for anyone to participate. Simply create a free account by submitting some basic information, an email address and create a password to begin registering for classes. We invite you to spread the word about our new virtual education platform so you can enjoy lifelong learning with friends and loved ones from anywhere in the country!
Oasis is seeking nonprofits and Encore Network members interested in identifying other large grants and partnering on the implementation and sustainability of the grant. We are looking for other caregiving organizations to collaborate on the “Community Care Grant.”