BY BARRY WARNER
For many seniors, learning how to use a computer can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. Taking computer courses enable seniors to turn their computers from expensive paperweights to valuable tools for exploring web browsing, communication and entertainment.
Marty Weitzman worked at IBM as a systems analyst project manager for 34 years and volunteered to serve as director and computer instructor at the Meals on Wheels Adult Learning Center from 1998 to 2011.
He said, “IBM computers were initially provided for the program and updated with funds from Meals on Wheels and the Office for the Aging. I took instruction from Microsoft to develop courses such as Basic Skills, Introduction to Computers, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. During the time I was involved, I taught approximately 225 students myself. Classrooms consisted of one instructor and two coaches for a total of 8 students at their own computers. The individualized attention allowed seniors to keep up with the lessons being taught. Currently, I continue my interest in the organization as a member of the Meals on Wheels executive committee.”
Eileen Herkes was a former student of Marty’s and is now director of the Adult Learning Center. She said, “Starting in 1998, Marty ran the program by himself and now there are 40 volunteers. I now know how much work he put into the program and he did it perfectly. When I had started, I had never touched a computer and Marty was a wonderful instructor. I am forever grateful for what he taught me.”
Through his volunteer service, Marty has made a difference in the community as his pioneering efforts have made many seniors computer literate. Today, web-savvy seniors who took courses at the Adult Learning Center, are embracing e-mail and the whole world of information at their fingertips.
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