Looking to keep your mind as well as you body in shape as you get older? Silver City's new Western Institute for Lifelong Learning (WILL) may be for you. The institute's mission is to provide a program for continued learning and intellectual discovery for members 50 years of age and older. This "community of learners" will meet and share experiences to expand personal knowledge, offering study groups as well as social activities for members.
The Western Institute for Lifelong Learning will offer a different approach from traditional classroom learning. Participants will begin with the questions, "How do I best learn?" and "What do I want to learn?" Classes, or "study groups," will be peer led and participants will have as much input as the peer leader. The study groups will go beyond professional, career or technical training.
The institute will have a social purpose that is as important as its learning purpose, according to Patty Reed, one of the organizers. "It will generate a community of learners and offer the possibility of exciting dialogues," she says. "It will foster acceptance and encouragement of different points of views, and it will be a place to discuss and act on community issues."
The WILL organizing board consists of members from the public and university communities. In addition to Reed, the board includes Lloyd Alexander, Kathie Gilbert, Rudy Griego, Katherine Warren, Susanne Zeuner, Ardene Rickman and Richard Lawyer. Says Reed, "Drawn together by mutual interest and expertise, we have been in the planning stages for more than a year and are now ready to present our ideas to the public."
The institute has an affiliation with Western New Mexico University, but otherwise the organization is independently run.
The first meeting introducing the WILL program to the public is Feb.
15 at 7 p.m. in the main hall of WNMU's Global Resource Center. For more
information about the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning, call Reed