by Sam Loth

Earlier in my years, when I was willing to travel the continent with a backpack, a bedroll and my thumb, the biggest benefit I experienced was the cultural learning curve. For example, I had no idea that most everyone in Europe and North Africa were, at a minimum, bilingual – everyone knew at least two languages. In fact, many people were trilingual or more.

This was amazing to me coming from America, where choosing to learn a second language was a high school elective, as important as the debate club. Today, however, our world is smaller, more complex and having bi-lingual skills in America has become a more common skill set like knowing how to work in mixed media.

It’s never too late to learn that second language, though. Thanks, that is, to the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment. Can’t say “good morning” in French, Spanish or Italian and you’ve got reservations for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday later this year? If you’re 50 or older, the CHCE can help you conquer a little bit of the language skills you might need.

What’s that you say? You already are bi-lingual but it isn’t helping your card game? You need some new strategic moves at Pinochle or Bridge or Mahjong? All right, Mahjong isn’t technically a card game but who knows when you’ll need to fit in. You never know when Mahjong skills will come in handy. Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment is there for you.

Learn a language, be a better card shark, surprise everyone at your next folk dance by knowing how. Write your life story, paint a watercolor masterpiece, sit on a bench and sketch the dogs at the park. These are some of the activities and classes you can access at the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment. This is one of the nonprofits your Chestnut Hill Community Fund supports each year with your donations.

These classes meet at the Center for Enrichment, 8431 Germantown Ave., or the Center on the Hill, 8855 Germantown Ave.. There are special daytime programs and evening workshops for every schedule. Learn more at or 215-248-0180.

To help the Chestnut Hill Community Fund continue to support the Center for Enrichment and 30+ more deserving nonprofits in Northwest Philadelphia, make a donation today to CHCF at 8434 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118, go online and donate at, or contact Noreen at 215-248-8810. The CHCF thanks you in advance for your support.

Contact Sam Loth at