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Helping seniors get high-tech
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Warren County Senior Center has received an upgrade to its technology from McMinnville Breakfast Rotary. A grant was obtained to provide the center with a stand-alone computer training system. Pictured, from left, are Mary Mason, Rachel Killebrew, Mark Lytle, Vickie Derriso, and Connie Smith.

Warren County Senior Center, with help from McMinnville Breakfast Rotary, is helping seniors adapt to technology.

“At first we had seniors coming in with their flip phones asking for help, and now they’re asking us to help them with their smartphones,” said Warren County Senior Center director Connie Smith. “Their children also wanted them to learn to use a laptop to be able to communicate with their families.”

Today’s seniors didn’t grow up in an era of cellphones, computers and the internet. As a result, some of them need assistance in learning to use technology. 

Seeing a need and filling it, the center began offering computer classes. 

“We started by offering computer classes on a small scale,” said Smith. “Everyone had to bring in their own laptop or borrow one from someone. Some of them didn’t even know how to open up their laptops. They certainly didn’t know anything about how to email. Then we introduced them to Facebook and how they can send pictures to their loved ones.”

The class had limited participation due to lack of computers. Then in swooped Rotarians.

McMinnville Breakfast Rotary’s grant project called “Senior Center Computer Resources” offered the center what it didn’t have -- nine laptops and a printer.

“The goal of this grant project was to provide a stand-alone computer training system and computers that volunteer instructors could use to provide hands-on education and training for Senior Center participants,” said McMinnville Breakfast Rotatory Club president-elect Mark Lytle.

Rotary International sponsors Warren County High School’s Interact Club. Teens in the club will be volunteering their time to train seniors on how to use computers and become instructors. 

Warren County Senior Center’s computer classes are currently offered on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Consideration is being given to offering a computer class in the morning.