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Riderwood and Prince George's Community College Pair Up on SAGE Continuing Education Program

March 2, 2012

Riderwood and Prince George's Community College Pair up on SAGE Continuing Education Program; 50 Courses Offered This Semester
SILVER SPRING, MD (March 2, 2012) - Riderwood retirement community  and Prince George's Community College have partnered to present Seasoned Adults Growing Educationally (SAGE), a continuing education program geared toward adults 60-plus. Fifty courses are being offered this semester as part of this program.
The non-credit courses take place at the 120-acre Riderwood campus in Silver Spring to offer lifelong learning to its residents. The name, chosen deliberately, honors the wisdom of the sages.
"It's important for the classes to take place at Riderwood," says Karen Spicer, a Community Resources Coordinator at Riderwood. "They provide ongoing social, physical, and mental/intellectual stimulation, as well as a pattern to residents' weekly schedule."
For the last 40 years, the SAGE program has provided classes targeted to seasoned learners. The college understands and respects the "community nature of the community college," says Camille Crawford, SAGE Program Coordinator, by bringing the classes into retirement communities and other partner locations.
The classes generate so much interest that they are always filled with current residents and therefore not available to those who do not reside in the Riderwood community, making it a unique partner site for the college. About 50 classes are offered every semester. The most popular classes are healthy living, followed by current issues, history, and art.
"The classes keep people engaged and are vital in all areas of a healthy person's life: physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional," Crawford says. "Our top-notch resident instructors have a much better idea about where the senior students are coming from, especially if they're learning something for the first time," Spicer says, referring to SAGE instructors who actually live at Riderwood.
"Riderwood is populated with people with such vast knowledge and talent, it would be a shame to waste it," Crawford says. The program wants and attracts people who are passionate and have a depth of knowledge about the subject they wish to teach.
Ann Dyer, a Riderwood resident teacher, likes to teach "quirky" classes, like her "Polite to Political: Women in Washington and Washington Women." But she admits she can't pick a favorite class. "Attending classes not only educates seniors---at least that's what we hope---but it keeps them mentally aware and less concentrated on what they 'can't' do," she says. Dyer taught in Riderwood's SAGE program before moving to campus in 2006.
Donald White, another popular instructor, taught in the business department at Prince George's Community College for 18 years before moving to Riderwood. Now, he conveniently teaches English and History classes informally called "Whimsical Grammar" and Golden Days of Radio just down the hall from his apartment home.
"I love to teach," Don says, "so I ginned up my radio and grammar courses based on dinner conversations with residents who encouraged me." A resident student of his even called his Radio course "ear candy" because of all the recordings he offers in the class.