E-news October 24, 2016
It is an honor to serve as Senior College president this year. Senior College’s mission is “to provide intellectual stimulation, practical knowledge, social interaction and fun for persons 50 years of age or older.” It has certainly accomplished that for me in the twelve years I have been involved, not only through courses I have taken but also through teaching, serving on committees and even board work. We are off to a strong start this year with a full complement of courses, instructors, and dozens of volunteers who serve as class assistants, staff the office, serve on the board and various committees. With nearly six hundred members and fifty or so courses, field trips and programs a year, Senior College is an independent, self-governing, 501c(3) non-profit organization. The only work not conducted by volunteers is the accounting, catering, our website, and the facilities rented from the Hutchinson Center.
All this has been possible because of your intensive commitment to life-long learning and your desire to contribute your time and talent. As we learned at the annual meeting, however, rising costs are posing a real challenge. We have not wanted to increase fees because we want Senior College to be affordable for everyone. Some adjustments will need to be made, however, because we are self-funding as well as self-governing.
Maine has seventeen Senior Colleges. We are one of five that are independent non-profits. This means we get less help from the University of Maine but are free to determine our own course. As it happens, the independent Senior Colleges have turned out to be the biggest and the strongest.
If you would like to learn how to become further engaged with Senior College, come on by the office or explore the website or talk to me or any board member. New people and ideas are always welcome.
Special Events Committee: Organizational meeting
The charge of the Special Events Committee is “to plan and carry out field trips, special presentations and hospitality activities outside the curricular offerings.”
New members are welcome as the committee begins to plan for the 2016-2017 year.
Thursday, November 17
Bell The Cat
Community Service Committee
Things are heating up for the Community Service Committee. We have three initiatives between now and the spring, each of which need volunteers and offer opportunities for meaningful community involvement.
Window Dressers of Waldo County
On October 25th in Searsport and November 10th in Belfast Window Dressers will begin assembling and wrapping frames to make nearly 1,000 interior storm window inserts for Waldo County residents. Here’s how you can help:
- Go to http://signup.com/go/8v5CUx and choose the link for either (or both) the Searsport or Belfast builds. You can sign up to assemble frames with drills and glue, to wrap frames with tape, plastic, and weather-stripping, or to bring a lunch dish for our hard-working volunteers.
- The tasks above are simple and you will be trained. More importantly, it’s fun to work with others to help our neighbors stay warmer, save money on fuel, and reduce carbon emissions.
- If you have a large vehicle and might be able to help deliver inserts, or if you might like to staff the kitchen at the Boathouse in Belfast (make coffee, restock food etc.), or if you have any questions about the Belfast build please contact Corliss Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about the Searsport build, please contact Dianne Smith email@example.com.
We hope you can join us!
Aging Well in Waldo
In the past four months this initiative has gone from a grassroots coalition of area agencies and individuals to a funded entity. Aging Well in Waldo supports seniors, identifies 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 be invited to take this survey online, outside of Belfast and Searsport there is less access to technology. Consequently, Aging Well in Waldo needs:
- Research Assistants – These senior individuals will attend a half-day training session where they will learn to administer a paper and pencil assessment survey, then attend a community gathering within Waldo County to conduct a focus group. Applications for this role can be obtained in the Senior College Office or from Wendy C. Kasten, 207-338-0462, firstname.lastname@example.org. Overall, we need about 25 assistants.
- Note-takers/Recorders – These senior individuals will attend a short training session where they will learn how to both audio record a focus group with common technologies, and take notes during the discussion. After the focus group, the audio notes and written notes will be submitted to the principal investigator. Applications for this role will be available in the Senior College office or from Wendy C. Kasten, 207-338-0462, email@example.com.
Research assistants and their partner note-taker/recorder will go as a team, accompanied by a township host from the community to gatherings in outlying towns, such as a bingo game, a quilting circle, a bridge club, a senior luncheon, etc. Local township hosts will generally be from the network of hospice volunteers throughout the county.
Aging Well in Waldo is now funded by Maine AARP, and has the endorsement of The Waldo County Commissioners and the Belfast City Council. Waldo County Hospital is acting as the fiscal agent for the study and assisting with data entry.
Read Across America
The Community Service Committee is beginning to organize Read Across America in March, dates and times to be determined. Senior College volunteers will read to elementary aged school children in our area schools. We are looking for volunteers.
By the end of November, we hope to have the definitive list of schools, coordinators for each school, and the number of volunteers needed. 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. Assistance is provided for selecting books and knowing more about reading aloud to a class. Interested? Email Wendy C. Kasten with your name, phone number, and please 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 and coordinators:
Islesboro School: Sue Garrett
Nickerson Elementary (Swanville): Elsa Chapin
Weymouth Elementary (Morrill): Elsa Chapin
Drinkwater School (Northport): Jewel Rayner
Ames Elememtary (Searsmont): Lila Nation
Captain Albert Stevens (CASS) (Belfast): Cloe Chunn
East Belfast School (Belfast): Marje Stickler
Monroe Elementary (Monroe): Marge Sheridan
Appleton School (Appleton): Elisabeth Goodridge
Searsport Elementary (Searsport): Karen Knox
Morse Elementary (Brooks): Kathleen Kearns and Deb Shepherd
Smith School (Winterport): Unassigned
Lincolnville Central School (Lincolnville): Unassigned
Is there a school you think we should also serve? If so, call Wendy C Kasten, 207-338-0462 or email email@example.com.
THANKS to the Senior College members who called older folks in nearly 400 households around Waldo County who have applied for Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets. This was our largest task yet. Those applications have been passed on to Waldo Community Action Partners. Many of our callers said this task was mostly very enjoyable as they had conversations with appreciative and sometimes lonely senior citizens. Thanks to: Elaine Witt, Marge Sheridan, Ida Jean Tyer, Brenda Mullen, Cynthia Porter, Roberta Tatro, Sue Garrett, Tom Pezold, Barbara Lehn, Kathleen Kearns, Cathy Bradbury, Pat Griffith, Joanne Boynton, Marje Stickler, Dorothy Colcord, Maggie Reilly, Karen Know, Deb Shepherd, Elsa Chapin, Jewel Rayner, Janine Gates, and Debbie Hopper.
Eileen Preskenis, a long time Senior College member who passed away September 5, 2016.