By David Blanchette, Correspondent
The Lincoln Land Community College Academy of Lifelong Learning “may have some of the similar joys of a second childhood,” according to 80-year-old Springfield resident Kathryn Ransom, who has been involved in the program for nearly 10 years.
“Besides, if you don’t use your brain, it goes dead,” she added.
The academy is an education, activity and socialization program for those 50 years of age and older and will hold its annual kickoff event on Aug. 18, in the Trutter Center on the college’s Springfield campus. The doors open at 10 a.m., and refreshments will be provided.
Ransom is a former educator for District 186, still teaches courses at Benedictine University at Springfield, and has been on the academy board for three years.
“It involves seniors in an active way, whether they want to be physically active or they want to keep their mind working,” Ransom said. “It’s a way to get seniors together to have a fellowship and conversation. A lot of seniors live alone, and it’s an opportunity for them to develop friendships both within the group as well as outside of the group.
Membership in the 25-year-old academy program has grown from 306 to 363 in the last four years and includes people in their early 50s through their mid-90s, according to Jamie Stout, director of community education at Lincoln Land.
“They have educational lectures on hot topics like drones or medical marijuana or cancer advancements. They really want to be in the forefront of the things that are happening in today’s world,” Stout said. “We’ve recently started a technology group. A lot of members have grandchildren or they see people around them using Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, smartphones, smart TVs, and they really want to stay on top of the latest technology.
“There really is something for everybody, whether you are looking to learn, or to be social and do things around the community.”
Offerings include lecture and discussion programs; interest groups; a breakfast roundtable; Wander on Wednesday, where members visit attractions locally and throughout the Midwest; Meet, Greet and Eat that allows members to enjoy monthly dinner events; and the Road Scholar program. There is a nominal fee for some of the activities, Stout said. Read the rest…