Adult Learning Center 


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Roswell Adult Learning Center

The Roswell Adult Learning Center, Inc (RALC), which opened in January of 2001, is located in the Roswell Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road, Roswell, GA 30075 (770.641.3950). The Roswell Adult Recreation Center is operated by the City of Roswell Recreation & Parks Department. The Roswell Adult Learning Center is governed by Bylaws.

The RALC is a 501 (c) (3) organization.  Our Learning Center provides a place where seniors can enroll in computer classes taught by their peers. The lessons are designed to allow older adults to learn at their own pace, and the volunteer instructors and coaches provide plenty of time and assistance to ensure that all tasks are completed.

                             

Some of the Roswell Adult Learning Center Volunteers

Computer classes are typically two hours long, and most courses consist of a weekly class or classes over a four to eight week period. One week classes typically cost $15. Other classes range from $35 to $65 as of this writing. RALC is able to offer classes inexpensively because we have over 50 Volunteers to support teaching, coaching, administration, and technical support. In addition, The City of Roswell, IBM, TechSoup, Microsoft and BellSouth have supported RALC with donations of equipment, software, and building space.

If you are 50 or older and want to improve your computer skills, this is the place for you. Join with us and have a good time while you learn at your own pace from other older adults who will be teaching and coaching.

The Magic of Volunteering

Contributed by Julia Fogel

At a recent meeting of the Roswell Adult Learning Center, one of our volunteers stood up and exclaimed, “There is magic in this room.  What you all do every day is wonderful magic!”  She is certainly right on so many levels.

The computer itself seems magical to many of us.  We don’t always understand how it works, but are amazed at the things that can be done with it.  Beyond the technical wizardry, however, is the magic of being a RALC instructor or coach.  It is what keeps thirty to forty of us coming every week for eight weeks, several times a year, to give our time and share what we know about computers with folks who are 50 and older.

As our students, we too, are 50 and over.  We are engineers, nurses, homemakers, airline pilots, and realtors.  We are rocket scientists, truck drivers, physical therapists, and insurance agents.  We bring our unique histories and knowledge to our students and make the magic happen.  The magic is so powerful that a significant number of our students become volunteers, just to keep it flowing.

What is this mystical force that keeps us coming back?  Part of it is defined by our relationships.  It is found in the relationship between the student who is slightly memory-impaired and anxious about learning, and the coach who patiently and calmly repeats and demonstrates how to hold a mouse and open a program.  The student may not remember the task, but remembers that the coach cared enough to help them one-on-one.

It is the bond that forms when an instructor says to the class “I started out in a class just like this, so I know that you can learn this too”.

It is the joy of seeing a student with the use of only one hand learn to use the mouse and keyboard, and of seeing the student with a tremor learn to click the mouse without shaking it.  It is seeing happiness on the face of the student who can now see the printing on the monitor screen because the instructor showed him how to make the fonts larger.

The magic comes from the good feeling upon hearing “Wow!  I didn’t know you could do that!”  It is the knowledge that you helped someone do their job better, find a new job, or communicate with their children and grandchildren in another state or country.  It is helping folks to pay their bills electronically, print a beautiful vacation photo, or write a memoir.

Then there is the magic of learning.  It is impossible to be an instructor or coach and not learn.  The magic comes with the challenge to answer a question or to make the lesson even better next time by finding a new way to explain a concept.  It comes from sharing information with other volunteers, and sometimes from listening to students, as well.  It is learning new skills by downloading a curriculum, updating a manual, or becoming a leader in the group.  Learning keeps our minds and bodies active.

We are inspired by our peers who continue to teach, coach and otherwise participate while recovering from surgery, chemotherapy, and a host of other therapies that aging and illness can bring.  We are a determined and dedicated bunch, but the joy we get from helping others is healing, a magical therapy in its own right.

As our program grows, we need more help.  You just might have some magic of your own to share with RALC.  There is plenty to learn and do regardless of your skill level with computers.  To learn more, visit our Volunteer Orientation page. Volunteer applications are available online or at the Roswell Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road, in Roswell (770-641-3950).  Stop by the front desk and sign up to make some magic with Roswell Adult Learning Center.

Volunteer Video

 

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