Werner Schwabe

Seniors project promotes online skills

Earlier this month, Agassiz-Harrison Community Services received $25,000 in funding for a New Horizons for Seniors Project.

Whether it be editing photos on Photoshop, or creating pages on InDesign, a group of seniors are eager to widen their knowledge and create a unique published project along the way.

Earlier this month, Agassiz-Harrison Community Services received $25,000 in funding through a grant from the federal government for a New Horizons for Seniors Project.

The grant-based project gives up to 50 senior residents of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs a chance to create their own self-directed project, all while getting help from experts and others in the group.

A year or so ago, a group of seniors, including 86-year-old Werner Schwabe, created postcards showcasing their own photos of local scenery.

Now, projects have advanced to family memoirs, calendars, and children’s books.

The group will have until March next year to finished their projects, with a hope of displaying some of the work during a book launch in November at the Agassiz Public Library.

In the meantime, group members have the option to meet two times per week for drop-in sessions – in both Agassiz and Harrison – where they can work on individual projects, learn new skills and provide feedback on each other’s work.

During these sessions project coordinator Greg Laychak and other experts will host workshops and answer any questions that come up as the group’s projects grow.

During a meeting at the community services centre Thursday last week, Brenda Breitnmoser was exploring the different ways to incorporate drawings and photos onto pages with text using Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator.

While she’s hoping to complete an entire sewing textbook, her short-term goal is to complete two chapters by November: the first on how to alter a wedding gown for a pregnant bride, and the second chapter on how to adjust bust seems.

As the projects greatly vary, Agassiz – Harrison Community Services event coordinator Jen Sibley said New Horizons “is definitely an interesting project.”

She noted that from a social aspect, the projects and group meetings encourages both networking and provides an opportunity to learn new skills.

The event coordinator added that there’s still plenty of room for any seniors interested in joining, and drop-in sessions take place on Tuesday at the Harrison Memorial Hall from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Thursdays at the community services centre from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information email Sibley at eventcoordinator@agassizcs.ca or call 604-796-2585.

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