The Terraces of Phoenix Embraces Lifelong Learning

Sarah Cloward, activity coordinator at The Terraces of Phoenix, is the brainchild behind the community’s Lifelong Learning Program.

This May, the Terraces of Phoenix, located in Arizona, will introduce a resident-led program called Lifelong Learning. This program is based on the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) model, which is a national program created to help seniors continue their education and acquire new skills and concepts.

The Lifelong Learning Program is the brainchild of activity coordinator Sarah Cloward. “We have several resident-led programs; however, this is the first resident-led program that is completely education focused,” says Cloward.

Cloward realized the idea when residents approached her with the desire to travel to surrounding colleges in Phoenix to take courses. Instead of organizing a group that would travel to each of these colleges, Cloward thought it would be a great to bring the classes to them. With the help of resident Paul Ulrich, the two created several planning meetings last April and began to reach out to residents, surveying them to see who had what expert knowledge that they might be willing to share with the broader community. Through their efforts, they realized that they’d be able to offer lecturers on a broad array of topics, such as history, drama, psychology, music, art and technology.

According to Cloward it’s a two-fold goal. Residents not only will be able to lead lectures and discussions, helping them to bond with their fellow community members, but also will be able to learn new skills that form neuron connections within the brain, helping to delay cognitive decline. “We are delighted to tap into our resident-based intellectual capital,” Cloward explains. “There are so many incredible residents and team members at The Terraces of Phoenix—from retired college professors to WWII veterans, every member has something interesting to share and for others to learn.”

The Lifelong Learning group will commence Monday, May 1, meeting thereafter on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Group sizes will dictate where in the Terraces these classes will be held. If you are interested in lecturing on a subject or would like to attend a class, please contact Sarah Cloward at (602)-281-2630 or


Founded in 1949, ABHOW is widely known for its pioneering leadership in senior housing and health care. The company serves 6,200 residents in 50 retirement communities in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oklahoma and Idaho and employs more than 2,400 team members. To learn more about ABHOW visit

This article appears in the April 2017 issue of ABHOW Words.