Roswell Adult Learning CenterThe Roswell
Adult Learning Center, Inc
(RALC), which opened in January of 2001, is located in the Roswell Adult
Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road, Roswell, GA 30075 (770.641.3950). The
Roswell Adult Recreation Center is operated by the
City of Roswell Recreation & Parks Department. The Roswell Adult
Learning Center is governed by Bylaws.
The RALC is a 501 (c) (3) organization and was originally a chapter of
SeniorNet a national organization that provides computer education to adults over 50.
Learning Center provides a place where seniors can enroll in computer classes
taught by their peers. The lessons are designed to allow older adults to learn
at their own pace, and the volunteer instructors and coaches provide plenty of
time and assistance to ensure that all tasks are completed.
Some of the Roswell Adult Learning Center Volunteers
Computer classes are typically two hours long, and most courses consist of a
weekly class over an eight week period. Each eight week class
ranges from $40 to $65
as of this writing. RALC is able to offer classes inexpensively because we have
over 50 Volunteers to support teaching, coaching, administration, and technical
support. In addition, The City of Roswell, IBM, TechSoup, Microsoft and BellSouth have supported
RALC with donations of equipment, software, and building space.
If you are 50 or older and want to improve your computer skills, this is the
place for you. Join with us and have a good time while you learn at your own
pace from other older adults who will be teaching and coaching.
The Magic of Volunteering
Contributed by Julia Fogel
a recent meeting of the Roswell Adult Learning Center, one of our volunteers stood up and
exclaimed, “There is magic in this room. What you all do every day is wonderful
magic!” She is certainly right on so many levels.
computer itself seems magical to many of us. We don’t always understand
how it works, but are amazed at the things that can be done with it.
Beyond the technical wizardry, however, is the magic of being a RALC instructor or
coach. It is what keeps thirty to forty of us coming every week for eight
weeks, four times a year, to give our time and share what we know about
computers with folks who are 50 and older.
our students, we too, are 50 and over. We are engineers, nurses, homemakers,
airline pilots, and realtors. We are rocket scientists, truck drivers, physical
therapists, and insurance agents. We bring our unique histories and knowledge
to our students and make the magic happen. The magic is so powerful that a
significant number of our students become volunteers, just to keep it flowing.
What is this mystical force that keeps us coming back? Part of it is defined by
our relationships. It is found in the relationship between the student who is
slightly memory-impaired and anxious about learning, and the coach who patiently
and calmly repeats and demonstrates how to hold a mouse and open a program. The
student may not remember the task, but remembers that the coach cared enough to
help her one-on-one.
is the bond that forms when an instructor says to the class “I started out in a
class just like this, so I know that you can learn this too”.
is the joy of seeing a student with the use of only one hand learn to use the
mouse and keyboard, and of seeing the student with a tremor learn to click the
mouse without shaking it. It is seeing happiness on the face of the student who
can now see the printing on the monitor screen because the instructor showed him
how to make the fonts larger.
magic comes from the good feeling upon hearing “Wow! I didn’t know you could do
that!” It is the knowledge that you helped someone do their job better, find a
new job, or communicate with their children and grandchildren in another state
or country. It is helping folks to pay their bills electronically, print a
beautiful vacation photo, or write a memoir.
Then there is the magic of learning. It is impossible to be an instructor or
coach and not learn. The magic comes with the challenge to answer a question or
to make the lesson even better next time by finding a new way to explain a
concept. It comes from sharing information with other volunteers, and sometimes
from listening to students, as well. It is learning new skills by downloading a
curriculum, updating a manual, or becoming a leader in the group. Learning
keeps our minds and bodies active, and may explain why in nine years we have had
only one volunteer death, which is remarkable considering our ages.
This is not to say that we have not had our share of illness. We are inspired
by our peers who continue to teach, coach and otherwise participate while
recovering from surgery, chemotherapy, and a host of other therapies that aging
and illness can bring. We are a determined and dedicated bunch, but the joy we
get from helping others is healing, a magical therapy in its own right.
our program grows, we need more help. You just might have some magic of your
own to share with RALC. There is plenty to learn and do regardless of your
skill level with computers. To learn more, visit our
page. Volunteer applications are available
online or at the Roswell Adult Recreation
Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road, in Roswell. Stop by the front desk and sign
up to make some magic with Roswell Adult Learning Center.
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