A University of Maine at Presque Isle program that serves intellectually curious adults, age 50 and older, and believes in “learning for life” will host its Spring Kick-Off at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 17 in the Campus Center. For 19 years, Seniors Achieving Greater Education [SAGE] has brought short courses in arts, sciences, and specialty areas to the region’s senior community. The Kick-Off event will begin with coffee at 9:30 a.m. with time for attendees, including instructors and SAGE members to socialize.
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 17 event, participants will have the opportunity to socialize with SAGE members and learn all about upcoming SAGE classes. The event will feature a welcome by new UMPI President Raymond J. Rice and an introduction of Lydia Kieffer-Till, the new UMPI Coordinator of Conferences and Special Programs.
Martie Pritchard will provide brief remarks about her recently published compiled stories told by the residents at Leisure Village, followed by introductions of instructors and selected courses. Just a few of the 20 courses to be offered this spring are: The Golden Age of Radio; Art, Religion & Politics; Readers Theatre; Taste of the County; Intro to Watercolor Painting; The Great War (WWI); Dealing with Compassion Fatigue; and Candy Making. Courses generally meet for two-hour sessions once a week for four weeks, during April and May.
In addition, there will be eight one-day classes offered, including: Using your iPhone and iPad; Victorian Mourning Rituals; Nonsense and News on the Internet; and Preparing Your Garden. Finally, six excursions will be hosted, including a visit to Sabian Cymbals and Mactaquac Dam, For Love of Garlic tour in Oakfield, and a Trolley tour of Historic Presque Isle.
Classes 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 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.
Attendees can register for courses at the Kick-Off, where SAGE Spring 2017 brochures and registration forms will be available. They can also be downloaded online at www.umpi.edu/sage. For more information about SAGE and upcoming course registration, contact Lydia Kieffer-Till at 207.768.9502 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.