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Sunday, August 18, 2019

It's back to the books for lifelong learners | Greenville Daily Reflector

At this back-to-school gathering, no one will be complaining about how short the summer break was or asking how to find the science hall. These seniors represent a different class of learners, continues Greenville Daily Reflector.

Participants in a Laughter Yoga class previously offered as part of ECU’s Lifelong Learning Program.

ECU's Lifelong Learning Program will welcome students with a fall semester kickoff on Saturday at the East Carolina Heart Institute. The event will give new and returning students ages 50 and older a chance to meet with instructors and learn about course offerings for the new year.

Now in its ninth year, the Lifelong Learning Program offers a variety of short-term courses and seminars on topics ranging from retirement and aging to religion and the arts. With sessions meeting at a dozen locations throughout the community, it features many of the most enjoyable aspects of school, including lectures, class discussions, art, music and even field trips. But there are no assignments and no grades.

“No tests, no homework,” program Coordinator Andrew Ross said. “It's a very relaxed and informal learning atmosphere and environment...

Research suggests that lifelong learning has several benefits for seniors. According to the National Institutes of Health, such learning may help the brain adapt to compensate for age-related changes.

“There have been numerous studies that have shown that any sort of continued learning is definitely going to continue to stimulate cognitive functioning,” Ross said. “The majority of the studies point out that it is a great thing to continue to learn no matter what age.”

Ross believes that the social benefits to lifelong learning participants may be as important as the cognitive advantages.
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Source: Greenville Daily Reflector