Monday, May 19, 2008

Educating the community

Some baby boomers barely keep up with the newest technology and latest dietary trends, so imagine how their parents are doing.

To keep the older generation up-to-date, Fort Valley State University is offering a free senior enrichment program, May 29, at its C.W. Pettigrew Farm and Community Life Center. The event, which begins at 10 a.m., is also open to caregivers and professional educators who work with the elderly.

During the five-hour workshop, presenters will cover several topics including cell phone usage, practicing healthy eating habits and gardening. Arthur Willis Jr., greenhouse manager and grounds supervisor for the university’s College of Agriculture, Home Economics and Allied Programs, will do a demonstration on how to plant flowers or vegetables.

“This is an opportunity for seniors to pick up a few tips that can keep them up-to-date with what’s going on in the world. Everyone doesn’t have children who can show them how to send a text message or have access to the Internet which can provide tips on how to eat healthy,” said Kena Torbert, the FVSU family life specialist who’s coordinating the event. “The Cooperative Extension Program at FVSU is reaching out to those who need help, or a refresher course, on some important life lessons.”

As people age their bodies change, and as a result they need to adjust their eating habits, Torbert said. She also noted how difficult it can be for older customers to use a cell phone or understand the many cell phone plans.

“I like to do the senior program because it’s fun for me. I just enjoy working with the people. It’s a way to meet someone new and show them that we care,” Torbert said. “Plus, it’s a great chance for seniors to get out of the house and mingle.”

Workshop information: When: May 29 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Where: Fort Valley State University, C.W. Pettigrew Farm and Community Life Center, 1005 State University Drive, Fort Valley, Ga. Cost: Free. How: Participants can register by contacting Kena Torbert, FVSU’s family life specialist, at (478) 825-6573 or

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