Senior learners enjoy a mix of literacy activities. Seniors prefer instruction combined with exercise, dance, song, craft (sewing), games, storytelling, snacking and luncheons.
Seniors prefer culturally relevant activities. Seniors, literacy providers and senior serving organizations agree that seniors are enthusiastic about sharing their stories. Senior stories are published in booklet, audio cassette and video format. Storytelling activities promote the intergenerational connection between seniors and youth that is so important to both generations.
5. Content (Topics)
The majority of NWT seniors with low literacy skills may underestimate or shy away from addressing their literacy needs. The needs assessment experience in Fort Resolution suggests that over two-thirds of elders may not be interested in the kind of structured learning experience offered by a community learning center. In that community seniors said that it was too late to learn; they had no interest; or they were still employed. In these cases, seniors may be content to address their literacy needs through informal and formal senior support networks in families and familiar community organizations. In many cases family support may be provided by a grandchild who helps around the house and with reading and writing tasks. The NWT Seniors’ Society, friendship centres and First Nation offices also respond to requests from seniors for assistance dealing with income security benefits, various forms, or Aboriginal language needs.
NWT seniors are currently exposed to a range of supports as more NWT communities become aware of the benefits of a literate seniors population. Many communities are involved in successful literacy activities that respond to seniors needs. The case studies of Fort Resolution and Inuvik are good examples. (Appendix B)
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