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New school program provides technical assistance to local senior citizens

Feb 07, 2018 05:48PM ● Published by Editor

Gallery: Tech day at Senior Center [5 Images] Click any image to expand.

A new program has been developed between Cook County Schools ISD 166 and the Cook County Senior Center.  Bev Green, Director of the Cook County Senior Center, mentioned to Lisa Bauer, a technology employee at the school district, how senior citizens in the community needed a place to go where they felt comfortable getting assistance with their technology needs.

A plan was developed to pair two high school students who are interning in the technology department at the school with the Cook County Senior Center.  Working together with Bev Green and Kim Nelson, Senior Programmer/Coordinator, the technology department set up a schedule where high school seniors David Blackburn and Noah Works would begin visiting the Senior Center twice a month.  This program is free of charge to senior citizens.  David and Noah both are highly recommended by teachers and Kris Hoffman, the school guidance counselor.  They can answer technical questions, help set up devices, and share their technical knowledge.  Both students are planning to attend college, each majoring in computer science, after graduation.

The kickoff for this series was Wednesday, February 7th.  David and Noah were greeted by several community members waiting with their tech devices.  Al Heath mentioned that having these interns come  in "helped him get through the computer steps faster".  Gay O'Donnell said "I don't do electronics" and happily said that "Free help is good".  

According to Kim Nelson, "These students were personable and connected well with the seniors". Intern David Blackburn said that he thought the visit went very well.  He hopes to see more seniors come in on future visits.  

Along with this program at the Cook County Senior Center, several local organizations have stepped up to offer free technical assistance to all members of the community.  The Grand Marais Public Library has a series of tech nights.  Their next scheduled event is at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14th.  Cook County Community Education, in collaboration with Boreal Community Media and Cook County Higher Education will be offering their next tech night on Thursday, February 22nd at 6:00 p.m. The student interns will be visiting the Cook County Senior Center again on February 21st at from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

For more details about these free events, please contact Lisa Bauer at Cook County Schools (lbauer@isd166.org) or Kim Nelson at the Cook County Senior Center (387-2660).


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