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REF NO.: 4

SUBJECT: Seniors exemplify the spirit of Adult Learners' Week, Sept. 8-14 Division of Lifelong Learning to Celebrate Learners
DATE: Sept. 10, 2002

On Friday morning, Sept. 13, 2002 the Division of Lifelong Learning, Memorial University of Newfoundland, will celebrate the role of seniors as exemplars of lifelong learning. Representatives of the Division and the Seniors Resource Centre will welcome a new group of seniors who are learning about the latest technology in computer classes designed just for them.

The division has worked closely with the Seniors Resource Centre for many years to identify and fulfill the learning goals of seniors in the city. Instructor Mike Foley helps these "third age learners" get started with technology and use computers to enhance their daily lives. "I've taught all ages - from children to seniors - and what impresses me is that people have the same enthusiasm for learning and ask good questions no matter what their age," Mr. Foley said. "In fact, my older students can be much less fearful when they're learning about technology because they're doing it for the pleasure of finding out something new. They want to email their grandkids, write their memoirs, trace their family history on the Internet…and they're keen to learn how!"

Adult Learners' Week will be a national celebration and promotion of all forms of adult learning. This year is the first that Adult Learners' Week will be celebrated in Canada. It's a chance for people already learning to tell their friend, their families, and their colleagues that learning opens up new opportunities - no matter what your age.

In April 2002, the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) announced that it will mark International Adult Learners' Week in Canada by working together with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and nongovernmental organizations to develop plans for activities. The week has been observed in other countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom for many years and information about what others have done is on the UNESCO web site.

Locally, across Canada, there will be open houses, free lectures, and other celebrations to raise awareness of adult learning throughout the country. Join representatives of the Seniors Resource Centre and the Division of Lifelong Learning in celebrating our older adults, their diversity and their enthusiasm for lifelong learning opportunities.

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