For Immediate Release
Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560, firstname.lastname@example.org
In collaboration with NRTA: AARP's Educator Community, McKinley Technology High School in Washington, DC, today will launch an innovative program created by EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK), the nation's next generation Internet service provider (ISP), to bring together older adults, net-savvy teenagers and the Internet.
The program, GenerationLink, is a classroom-based initiative that enlists high school students to teach seniors how to use the Internet. Developed by EarthLink in 2002, GenerationLink fosters intergenerational understanding by using the Internet to forge a connection between teens and seniors. The program has launched locally in a handful of cities, but now, EarthLink has collaborated with Scholastic, Inc., to develop a national, standards-based curriculum that allows any school to download lesson plans and implement GenerationLink.
"What better way to bring people together than through the Internet," said Christopher Putala, executive vice president of public policy for EarthLink. "GenerationLink gives us the opportunity to create a dialogue between teens and seniors in a way that enriches the lives of both generations."
"Computers can provide an important way for older adults to communicate with family and friends. The Internet provides an additional source to connect individuals to new resources and information, encouraging them to be engaged, grow and meet their ever-changing needs and interests. The Internet also can provide a critical linkage that reduces isolation and allows more people to remain independent and lead satisfying lives," said Dr. Annette S. Norsman, director of NRTA: AARP's Educator Community.
Beginning today, GenerationLink will bring 10 local senior citizens, aged 60 and above, to sit side by side with McKinley Technology High School students. The students will teach the adults how to send e-mail, surf the Web and download attachments. The one-hour class will run for six weeks, with the high school students serving as Internet mentors and teachers for the adults. "Teaching a vital skill like this gives students a sense of accomplishment and furthers their understanding of the seniors' lives and perspectives," said Daniel Gohl, principal at McKinley Technology High School. "There is no doubt that this is how you build character among our youth, and we applaud EarthLink for supporting this partnership."
"As a school district, we realize that our mission is not only to educate the future leaders of our community, but also to prepare better citizens for the nation, as well as trustworthy and responsible human beings for the world. Collaborations such as this between EarthLink, the NRTA and the District of Columbia Public Schools are a win-win situation. The students learn about the importance of taking an active role in the community, and our community seniors benefit from the care and technical expertise of our students," said Clifford B. Janey, Ed.D., superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools.