Raleigh students teach senior citizens computer skills

Posted February 7, 2011 6:53 a.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2011 10:46 a.m. EST

— Most people can't imagine life without the Internet, but for some senior citizens, they never had the opportunity to get connected, until now.

A program called “Link2Learn” at the Wade Edwards Learning Lab in Raleigh pairs senior citizens from Raleigh Housing Authority retirement facilities with Broughton High School students.

“I didn’t grow up using computers, so I’m glad to have the opportunity to learn how to use the computer,” said Eileen Yates, who said she’s around 60.

The young teachers help their older students do things such as use e-mail, Microsoft Word and Facebook and book plane tickets online.

“It’s interesting that every day things that we do, it’s really hard for her (Yates) to do so,” said teacher Stephanie Johnson.

The students get class credit for teaching, but they also get to learn about a different generation.

“It’s amazing to hear her (Yates’) story and where she’s come from and how she’s gotten here, too,” Johnson said.

The Wade Edwards Learning Lab, next to Broughton High School, is named in memory of the son of John Edwards and his late wife, Elizabeth.

The project is sponsored by Time Warner Cable, and the class meets four to six times in the fall and spring.