Monday, July 19, 2010

Mather's More Than a Cafe Receives Fourth Digital Divide Grant

From a recent press release....

Mather's More Than a Cafe Receives Fourth Digital Divide Grant

Illinois Department of Commerce Grant Allows Older Adults to Receive Discounted Computer Training

Chicago, IL. (July 16, 2010) �

Since receiving its first Digital Divide grant in 2004, Mather's More Than a Cafe locations in three Chicago neighborhoods have provided computer training to more than 2,500 older adults. Now, a fourth grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce will continue the program and provide inexpensive computer training to Cafe customers. Mather's More Than a Cafe locations include 7134 West Higgins Avenue, 3235 North Central Avenue, and 33 East 83rd Street.

According to new research, older adults are adopting computer skills at a fast rate. More than 25 percent of Americans 50 years and older stay connected using sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. And nearly half of older adults, aged 50 to 64, say they are savvy about the Internet. "

"We are making it very easy and affordable for Mather's customers to learn how to use a computer," said Betsie Sassen, Executive Director, Cafe Development. "We are offering four levels of regularly priced $50 classes for just $10." The computer classes will allow participants to learn the basics as well as advanced techniques. Classes are two hours each, meet once weekly, and run for one month.

In speaking about her computer training experience at Mather's on 83rd, one student said: "I wanted to learn to use the computer but it never was the right time for me until I heard about this opportunity. I am encouraged to learn what I was avoiding all these years."

The State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has awarded Mather's More Than a Cafe funding to "Bridge the Digital Divide." The program allows the Cafe to reduce computer class fees for Levels 1-4 to $10 per level. The program will continue until funds are depleted.

Once funds are depleted the Cafe will return to regular fee schedules pertaining to both customers and Mather Advantage Discount participants.

Information and schedules for the computer classes are available by calling: (773) 488-2911

About Mather LifeWays: Based in Evanston, Illinois, Mather LifeWays enhances the lives of older adults by creating Ways to Age Well. Founded in 1941 by entrepreneur and humanitarian Alonzo Mather, Mather LifeWays is a unique not-for-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing a continuum of living and care; making neighborhoods better places for older adults to live, work, learn, contribute, and play; and identifying, implementing, and sharing best practices for wellness, workforce issues, memory care support, and empowering caregivers.

To learn more about our senior residences, community initiatives and Institute on Aging, please call (847) 492.7500 or find your way to

Don't suppose some of those lessons could include blogging...?

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