The readers’ forum

Promote lifelong learning for older adults

 

In the book Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom, Mary Catherine Bateson addresses the fact that the older, “mature” population in our society are more likely to be engaged and excited about issues which transcend themselves. Such enthusiasm is priceless; especially when we are witnessing the growing trend of retirees turning to continuing education in the form of university sponsored lifelong learning programs as an engagement activity of choice.

However, there is a lack of investment in community-based educational programming for older adults. Many cannot afford to pay fees of university affiliated programs, so they instead go to community centers, churches and synagogues that offer free adult education. But the traditional focus of these programs is generally health based, self-help or peer-led instead of university-level classes.

Enter programs such as the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI). Part of the NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, the LLI provides academic programs promoting intellectual stimulation, physical well-being and social growth to enrich the lives of its members and the community. These educational, humanities-based programs reach hundreds of adults on campus and at 13 residential communities throughout South Florida.

The big “but” however, is that LLI programs only reach people and organizations that can afford the minimal lecture costs. There are no real funding options available to assist programs like this in providing free programs for these information-thirsty populations.

I have seen the excitement and enthusiasm of older students. Their thirst for knowledge is evident in their focus, participation and constant prodding for even more challenging lectures and lecturers. If lifelong-learning programs were funded and expanded throughout communities unable to afford the costs, dedicated learners could provide an inspirational example and support system for younger generations, which in turn might infuse energy into our shaky educational system.

LLI is hosting its free bi-annual Welcome Week on Jan. 6-9 in NSU’s University Park Plaza at 3424 S. University Drive in Davie. For more information, call 954-262-8471 or visit www.nova.edu/lifelonglearning.

Linda E. Maurice, director, Lifelong Learning Institute, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • Redistricting redux

    One need to look no further than the Aug. 12 piece Challenges expected on approved maps on redistricting that shows Florida’s Legislature simply cannot be trusted to impartially and apolitically draw legislative districts. When the House Redistricting Committee chairman, Republican Rep. Richard Corcoran (in addressing the revised Congressional map previously found unconstitutional) says, “If that is a Republican map, I’m proudly and utterly guilty of doing that,” then it’s clear the Legislature is unwilling and unable to enact the Fair Districts amendments. It’s high time for the courts, or a nonpartisan third party, step in to craft legislative districts.

  • Floating courthouse?

    I suppose the new courthouse (in the unlikely event its funding is approved by the citizens) will be elevated to account for sea level rise predicted by all local climate experts. Where will its users come from as the sea inundates the densely populated coastal areas of Miami-Dade while state and local governments played the proverbial Nero’s fiddle? We have limited funds; let’s prioritize wisely and put survival of our community ahead of the admittedly dire needs of the justice system.

  • Lifetime Rocket fan

    I read with disgust the letter that Coach Roland Smith of Miami Central High received from a Hoover football fan. I have been an educator my entire life and I’ve tried to eradicate the ignorance of judging someone for the color of their skin. My mentor and best friend in the school system for years was Percy Oliver, a black All-American football player from Illinois who became principal and head of athletics for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He became my dad after my father died, and we never let the color of our skin determine the limits or boundaries of our friendship.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category