Basic computer literacy is essential for people of all ages in our wired world. Stepping up to meet that need, AARP Nebraska’s Information Center in Omaha offers instruction for first-time computer users. The introductory class designed and taught by AARP volunteers is open to adults of any age.
About 600 students have enrolled in the 9-hour course since it was first offered five years ago. Students learn computer terms and basic operating procedures, how to format and type documents, use spell check, cut and paste, insert clip art and organize photos, delete unwanted files, surf the Internet and lots more. Advanced classes focusing on e-mail are available for graduates of this class.
Participants’ ages range from their 40s to their 90s, and the average age is around 75. Some enroll in the course to upgrade their skills in a tough job market; others may have never used a computer given to them by a family member. Students may request a certificate upon completion of the course.
“It’s so rewarding to see how much people are able to accomplish over nine hours,” said Morey Birenbaum, volunteer coordinator of the AARP Nebraska Information Center. “They start not knowing anything about computers and we watch their confidence grow by leaps and bounds. That’s why we do it.”
Other agencies have approached AARP for computer instructors, while one assisted living facility filled up an entire class and bussed in their residents each day. “There’s a big demand in the community for our class, and we have a waiting list every session,” Birenbaum said.
Classes are held in the computer lab at Kids Can Community Center, 4860 Q St. The next session runs from Sept. 1-3. The Wednesday class will meet from 12:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. The fee is $15. To register, call the AARP Information Center at 402-398-9568.
Volunteers also are needed to assist computer instructors during class. Contact Morey at 402-398-9568 for more information.
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