Local teens bring technology to seniors
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Northborough/Southborough – Students at Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) have the opportunity to partake in a wide variety of school clubs, offering them a way to expand their knowledge and get involved in the Algonquin community. For those students who are looking for ways to become involved with and within the community, there is the Community Action Program (CAP), a group advised by math teacher Eileen Palmer. In the past, CAP predominantly assisted the communities of Northborough and Southborough by offering volunteers at (the two towns’ extended day programs (NEDP and SEDP). Recently, though, CAP has begun to branch out into other areas in the two communities.
“We recognized that there were some intergenerational opportunities helping senior citizens,” Palmer said. “We have been called upon to rake leaves to do light yard work for the elderly. Our CAP teens have also assisted serving food to senior citizens at holiday luncheons.”
Under the direction of Palmer and guidance counselor Jason Lessard, CAP students (there are currently 25 students actively participating) will be holding a technology seminar for the seniors at both the Southborough Senior Center and the Northborough Senior Center. With the goal of helping seniors use the technology that they have at their fingertips, the seminars will focus on cell phone, ereader, laptop and iPad use. The ARHS teens will assist the seniors on how to use their technology more efficiently – showing them easy ways to mute their phones, text, change ring tones, take pictures, increase the font size or download a book (on a Kindle).
Student Eileen Moynihan had been looking for a way to volunteer around the community and help in any way she could. When the opportunity to participate in CAP came along, she knew that she had to do it.
“I really love sitting down with seniors when I can because it isn’t often that a person my age gets to see a piece of the past through the stories and memories of people a great deal older,” Moynihan said. “Seniors always find a way to teach me something interesting that I didn’t know, so it’s only fair that I can try to return the favor. The technology seminars give kids of our generation the chance to show the seniors how we can help guide them like they’ve guided us.”
Fellow student Elizabeth (Bits) Sangiorgi echoed Moynihan’s sentiments.
“I am quite excited to work with the seniors,” Sangiorgi said. “People sometimes underestimate how wonderful working with seniors is. Many people believe that it would be boring or ‘stupid,’ but it’s always fun. Many of the seniors are really nice and offer wonderful input on many subjects.”
The technology seminars are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Northborough Senior Center, 119 Bearfoot Road, and Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Southborough Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Road. The seminars will run from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. After these dates, CAP students will be available for follow-up technology assistance every other Tuesday. Seniors interested in follow-up assistance are asked to sign up at their senior center front desk.
Palmer and Lessard are excited about the program.
“We feel that our teens will stimulate the seniors in Northborough and Southborough and that the students, in turn, can learn a lot from the seniors.,” Palmer said.
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