Expand your Horizons: Learn more. Travel more. Volunteer more. That was the theme of today’s CEA-Retired Fall Issues Conference at the Aqua Turf in Southington. More than 200 CEA-R members learned about new programs that can help them remain active, continue learning, and make a difference.
“Teachers are lifelong learners, and today’s conference introduced retired teachers to a number of different organizations that can help make a difference in their lives and allow them to remain intellectually stimulated and socially involved,” said CEA-R President Gloria Brown.
Many retired teachers search for opportunities for intellectual development, cultural stimulation, and social interaction, and in Connecticut there are many opportunities for retirees to do just that.
Lisa Peck from the Connecticut State University system explained to CEA-R members how Connecticut residents over the age of 62 can take free classes at any of the state universities.
Members also heard about dozens of programs offered at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UConn’s Waterbury Campus. OLLI is centered around classes developed and taught by volunteers who share their knowledge and experience with others.
“OLLI provides retirees with opportunities to spend their time doing and learning what they want—from painting to photography, and writing to cooking—we cater to a wide-variety of interests,” said Chuck Miceli, OLLI president. Click here for more information.
With plenty of time on their hands, many retirees say the number one thing they want to do is travel more. Conference attendees were introduced to the Road Scholar program, which provides mature learners (over the age of 50) with thousands of educational learning adventures throughout the U.S. and around the world.
“The program creates exciting, enriching, educational opportunities to see the world while teaching about the culture, people, and history of the destination,” said Eleanor Gonzalez, a Road Scholar Travel Program consultant.
For more information visit www.roadscholar.org
Retirees made their mark on generations of students, and now in their golden years many continue to make a difference by volunteering their time.
“Our members are doing amazing things and expanding their horizons to help others. They belong to civic groups, serve on boards, tutor, and volunteer their time for many organizations,” said Brown.
Literacy volunteers is one of the organizations that many teachers have joined to help improve lives.
According to statistics, 300,000 adults in the state lack the basic English literacy skills they need to find family-sustaining jobs, pursue job training or higher education, or support their children’s education.
Donna Violante, executive director of Literacy Volunteers of greater New Haven, said more than 30 percent of adults in the New Haven area struggle with literacy, which means they struggle in life—from finding jobs to simple things like filling out forms—and they lose the opportunity to improve their lives.
“Taking time to volunteer and tutor someone in need has a positive impact. It provides them with the life skills necessary to get ahead and be successful,” said Violante.
Volunteers are always needed at the 12 literacy organizations across the state providing reading, English, and other basic education skills. To learn how you can become a volunteer, visit http://lvagnh.org.
Spring Business Meeting
Plans are already in the works for the CEA-R Spring Business Meeting, scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the Aqua Turf.
Watch for more information in the CEA Advisor, via email, and online at www.cea.org/cear.