A University of Maine at Presque Isle program that serves local residents over 50 and believes in “learning for life” will host its spring kick-off event at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 18 in the Campus Center. For 18 years, Seniors Achieving Greater Education [SAGE] has brought short courses in arts, sciences, and specialty areas to the region’s senior community.
SAGE is one of 17 senior colleges in the Maine Senior College Network, and one of two senior colleges north of Bangor. The program provides an opportunity for lifelong learners to expand their knowledge in the company of people with both shared and different perspectives. SAGE brings members together in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere to discover new things about the world and about themselves.
At the free March 18 event, participants will have the opportunity to socialize with SAGE members and learn all about upcoming SAGE classes. Coffee will be served starting at 9:30 a.m., and the official program begins at 10 a.m. The event will include brief presentations by the learning facilitators taking part in this spring’s SAGE classes, a short presentation on “What Does Your SAGE Board of Directors Actually Do?,” and then class registration. Following the Kick-Off, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in an Authors Coffeehouse from 11 a.m. to Noon. Published authors will have their works on display, be available to sign and sell their books, and, if desired, give short readings.
This spring, SAGE officials are offering 24 exciting courses, learning events and excursions—on topics ranging from English handbell ringing and conversational French to readers theater and water fitness. Learning excursions—two of which are being offered by the Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center—include a maple syrup tour, a visit to a deeryard and greenhouse, and a walking tour of Houlton.
Classes range in length from an hour to five weeks and will be offered between March 31 and May 17. Individual classes generally meet once a week for approximately two hours and are led on a volunteer basis by SAGE members and guests. Course formats range from lectures and discussions to field trips and hands-on learning. SAGE has no entrance requirements, grades or tests, and no college background is needed. Another benefit is that course facilitators are local people who have a deep love and knowledge of the subject they are presenting.
The cost that participants pay for the education and interaction they get is minimal. Membership in Seniors Achieving Greater Education is $17 per semester or $32 for the year (Sept. 1 to Aug. 31). Courses are free for members; some hands-on courses and field excursions have additional fees and some courses may require the purchase of a book. Full or partial scholarships to take part in the program are available through a simple, friendly, and confidential process. SAGE members also have free access to most events sponsored by UMPI’s Cultural Affairs and Student Activities Office by showing their membership cards.
For more information about SAGE, contact Nancy Roe at 768-7271. To register for a class, contact Mary Lawrence at 768-9502. To view spring course offerings, visit www.umpi.edu/sage.