E-news January 25, 2016
Have you ever wondered how our course offerings here at the Senior College in Belfast compare with those at other senior colleges in Maine? In 2015, the Maine Senior College Network conducted a survey to find that out, along with other comparisons. What did we learn? Well, that seniors in our area have pretty much the same interests as seniors all over Maine. Here are the results:
We also have regular and popular offerings in music and foreign languages, but the over-all picture is very similar.
Senior College in Belfast is also like other senior colleges in that our instructors are all volunteers. No one is paid except for the satisfaction of sharing ideas and experiences that one is passionate about. I, for one, would say that that is pretty good pay. Dialogue with interested and informed students is also motivating. As a bonus, instructors are nudged to stay up in their fields and expand their horizons.
Many of us have favorite instructors we look for each semester. It is also true, however, that Senior College is always looking for new instructors. We offered sixty courses last year (Thank you, Curriculum Committee!). Always there is some turnover; even the regular instructors eventually retire, move, or, at our ages, become incapacitated. Others only want to offer something once. If you or someone you know is knowledgeable and not shy, encourage them to apply. Occasionally we have more proposals than available classrooms. Even then, if the proposal looks good, we will try to accommodate it in a future semester.
Enjoy your winter classes and winter vacations!
Sharon Romanow, who served as chair of the Curriculum Committee for the past three years, has resigned. Sharon did an outstanding job, and will be greatly missed. Lila Nation, French instructor at Belfast Senior College for the past three years, has stepped in as the new chair. The next meeting of the Curriculum Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, February 15 at 1:15 p.m. in Room 132.
The Course Catalog for the spring semester 2017 is almost complete. As of February 9, check our website for what courses will be offered March 23 through April 27. It is not too early, however, to start thinking about what you or someone you know would like to teach in this coming fall.
Community Service Committee
Aging Well in Waldo County
The CSC Committee voted in September to support Aging Well in Waldo County. In the past six months, this initiative has gone from a grassroots coalition of area agencies and individuals to a funded entity. Aging Well in Waldo County supports seniors and looks for community assets and challenges in Waldo County for people over 50 with a goal of improving life and gaining “Age-Friendly Status” by AARP. Over the summer both Bucksport and Bangor gained this designation joining other designated Maine communities.
To further this work, an assessment will be conducted county-wide. While many seniors will take this survey online, outside of Belfast and Searsport there is less access to technology. Because of this, Aging Well in Waldo County will hold a training session on January 31 at 1 pm at the Community Center in Waldo, Maine. During this event, research assistants will be trained to go out into the county to places where seniors gather and administer surveys by hand.
If you are interested, there is still a little time to join this effort. Contact Wendy C. Kasten for an application (email@example.com). Aging Well in Waldo County still could use a few more research assistants and especially a few notetakers to record and take notes during spring focus groups.
Aging Well in Waldo County now has a facebook page! Please consider stopping by and “like- ing us and “friend”-ing us. The link to our Waldo County Assessment Survey will be posted on the facebook page by February 1. It will also be posted on our website, soon ready to go live, using the same domain name.
Please take a moment during February to take the online survey. Surveys are only good if they get lots of respondents. When Bangor did their survey, they only had about 500 respondents. We can do better! We are surveying a county of 14,000 households, and the “oldest” county in Maine (according to census data).
Read Across America
Second, but equally important is the CSC committee work for Read Across America in late February and early March 2017.
Senior College members will read to elementary aged school children in our area schools and we are looking for volunteers.
Each school needs 4-7 volunteer readers. Volunteers select a book and read to a class for about 30 minutes. Some volunteers enjoy planning an activity that goes along with the book. Handouts and assistance are provided for selecting books and for knowing more about reading aloud to a class. If you are interested, please email Wendy C. Kasten with your name, phone number, and let us know if you have experience reading to children ages 5-11. If you have a school preference, you can let us know that, too (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To date, here is the list of schools, coordinators and dates:
Nickerson Elementary (Swanville): Elsa Chapin (2/28)
Weymouth Elementary (Morrill): Elsa Chapin (3/2)
Drinkwater School (Northport): Jewel Rayner (3/7)
Captain Albert Stevens (CASS) (Belfast): Cloe Chunn (3/2)
East Belfast School (Belfast): Marje Stickler (3/1)
Monroe Elementary (Monroe): Marge Sheridan (3/2)
Appleton School (Appleton): Elisabeth Goodridge (?)
Searsport Elementary (Searsport): Karen Knox (3/9)
Morse Elementary (Brooks): Kathleen Kearns and Deb Shepherd (3/3)
Smith School (Winterport): John Economy (3/2)
Lincolnville Central School (Lincolnville): Wendy C Kasten (3/2)