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SAGE kicks off fall class offerings

Wednesday, 09 September 2009

A University of Maine at Presque Isle program that serves local residents over 50 and believes in "learning for life" will host its fall kick-off with a luncheon event at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10 in the Campus Center.

Seniors Achieving Greater Education [SAGE] has worked for more than a decade to bring short courses in arts, sciences, and specialty areas to the region's senior community. SAGE is one of 16 senior colleges in the Maine Senior College Network, and the only one north of Orono.

At the Sept. 10 luncheon, participants will have the opportunity to socialize with SAGE members. Following lunch, they will learn all about upcoming SAGE classes. This fall, SAGE officials are offering a dozen courses and learning excursions - on topics ranging from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge to the Alzheimer's Project to the ancient roots of Islam. Learning excursions include trips to Knott-II-Bragg Farm in Wade, the National Weather Service office in Caribou, and the Shakaree Red Deer Farm in New Limerick.

Classes range in length from three to eight weeks and will be offered between Sept. 15 and Nov. 16. 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 $15 per semester or $30 for the year. There are additional fees for field trips and lab courses. 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 Cultural Affairs and Owl Productions, the student-run activity committee, by showing their membership cards.

For more information, to register for a class, or to make a reservation for the Sept. 10 kick-off lunch - cost is $6.15 - contact Mary Lawrence at 768-9502. To view fall course offerings, visit http://www.umpi.edu/faculty-staff/conferences/programs/sage.