The New Horizons for Seniors program matches students with seniors.

The New Horizons for Seniors program matches students with seniors.

Seniors and youths tackle computer literacy together

Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy offers program partnering seniors with students.

Claire Schreiner

Special to the Tribune Advisor

Computer Literacy is an important skill for everyone.  Cell phones are mini computers.  Many government forms are only available online.  Students now write Provincial exams on computers.  Facebook may be the only place to get those recent pictures of the grand children.

With this in mind, Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy’s PAL co-ordinator applied for and received a federal government grant to help seniors gain some working knowledge of these computer-related technologies.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program partners students with senior citizens.

Students teach the seniors basic computer and cell phone use, and then record seniors’ life stories and anecdotes.  The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin will house these published stories. We began recruiting secondary school students and seniors in April.

The students received workshops in communication skills and familiarization with our laptop computers.

They met with seniors at Williams Lake Senior’s Village in May and June. The Seniors enjoyed reminiscing and sharing events from their early lives.

Many of them grew up without the amenities of running water and electricity.  Even radio was very rare and usually run from a car battery.   The students appreciate the differences in their lives today.

In September the meetings and interviews moved to the public library which has good WiFi access for the computers and e-readers.

Some of the seniors are encouraging friends to join the project to learn some computer skills and share their stories.

If you are interested in learning more about the project, contact Claire at 250-398-4173.