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A Day at the Enrichment Academy Expo

In April 2017, The Villages Recreation Department established The Enrichment Academy (TEA), a service entity that provides community education and development. In its first year, more than 10,000 students moved through the new classrooms of TEA. Wow!

Last Thursday, August 2, I participated in the TEA Expo, which kicked off registration for residents of The Villages for the fall semester. The Expo also provided an opportunity for those facilitating classes to meet potential students and introduce the courses. I could not believe the diversity of class offerings and sheer size of the Expo.

Lewis, Rica. “T.E.A. Talk: A Chat with the Enrichment Academy.” Home • Nxtbook Media, The Villages Magazine, Aug. 2018,
Beginning Balloon Artistry – Carole & Hallie

In addition to the what one would normally find offered in community education courses–painting, photography, mahjong—there was also Zen drawing, building fairy gardens, yoga dance, study of literature and poetry, balloon tying, coloring, clowning, digital artistry. And that was just in the room I was in; there were two more ballrooms full of other opportunities, totaling more than fifty exhibits of classes for the fall.

The fifty-plus offerings represented at the Expo were a mere drop in the bucket to the full scale of what is being offered by TEA: a course catalogue with nearly 200 class options! Check out the full course catalogue here.

While I was working my table at the Expo, I saw Phyllis Kuehnl-Walters, a former Writing Your Life student and Villages resident who is now a published author. I met her at a class I taught a while back at Unity Church in Fruitland Park. She melted my heart when she told me, “As one of your former pupils, I can definitely say you and your class encouraged me to go for it! I am now a published author! And to you, dear Patricia, I am eternally grateful!”

Phyllis has been quite busy, with three books out since I last saw her. She published Worry, Fret, and Fear…No More! in January 2018. It is part devotional, part six-week challenge to stop worrying and build faith and confidence. She’ll be offering a class based on the book at TEA for the fall and winter semesters. Phyllis also has two more books forthcoming, Creating Balance and Purpose and a Study Guide and Gratitude Journal for Worry, Fret and Fear…No More!

Way to go Phyllis! I could not be more proud of your work.

I am super excited to offer the course “Write Your Life” for the fall semester (Thursdays in October) and winter semester (Thursdays in January). Each semester features a total of four two-hour classes. In this course, I’ll share some of the many approaches to writing life stories, how to retrieve long-forgotten memories, organize your stories, and so much more. All for the bargain price of less than $70!

If you are a resident of The Villages, you can register now; if you are not a resident, enrollment will open to the general public on August 13.

I’d love to see you in class this fall! Click here to register online for classes.




1 Comment

  • Phyllis Kuehnl-Walters
    Posted August 10, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you for featuring me, my course and my book! With all those instructors at the expo, it is very special to be acknowledged! I am also offering “ Creating Balance & Purpose in your Life” in January and March We could trade classes! You take mine and I take yours! Enjoy the rest of your Summer!! Phyllis

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