Senior Planet from AARP in Montgomery County, serving older adults in Montgomery County, Maryland is excited to celebrate six years of helping seniors locally (and across the country) learn new skills, adopt financial literacy, increase physical activity, and make new connections. Their courses, programs, and activities have helped to transform the lives of older adults far beyond technology giving a new meaning to “aging with attitude”.
Join the Party!
On June 17, 2022, Senior Planet in Montgomery County will gather at the Silver Spring Civic Building to reflect on its growth and celebrate with its dedicated community of seniors. Shivali Haribhakti, Director of Senior Planet in Montgomery County, Mitsuko Herrera, Director of Montgomery Connects, and Larissa Johnson, Residential Energy Program Manager, will be sponsoring the event.
“We will be having a luncheon to celebrate 6 years of work in Montgomery County. In addition to the luncheon, there will a recognition ceremony for participants and partners. The in-person celebration will take place on Friday, June 17th from 12-2 p.m. at the Silver Spring Convention Building,” says Haribhakti.
About Senior Planet in Montgomery County
Since 2016, Senior Planet in Montgomery County has worked to provide content-rich programming at senior centers and libraries throughout the county. It was then that the county entered its partnership with OATS to offer more robust programs to older adults in the area.
Popular Programs at Senior Planet in Montgomery County
One of its most popular programs “All Things Zoom” (formally called “Intro to Zoom”) has continued to reign supreme over the past two years. But there are more niche programs like “Hello MoCo”, a social gathering and forum for people to connect over local issues, and weekly energy programs, like “Lighting & Smart Bulbs”, that help educate older adults on how to save energy and money. Its programs like these that continue to fuel the success and growth of Senior Planet in Montgomery County. The chapter has also successfully implemented and increased virtual programming in Spanish and Chinese.
…I am 73 years old, and I am now taking a Barre Class that makes me feel like I am a ballerina.
“I started attending Senior Planet about one and a half years ago and it was the luckiest day of my life…I am 73 years old, and I am now taking a Barre Class that makes me feel like I am a ballerina. I love my classes and see a change in my attitude and my ability to do certain exercises I couldn’t do before. I recommend friends and family members to Senior Planet every chance I get because I want them to feel and look like me,” recalls Beverly Williams, a Senior Planet participant.
Growth and Awards
Before COVID, Senior Planet in Montgomery County served 846 participants in the first three quarters of 2020. In its first quarter online, it served 4,776 people. Over its first three quarters during the global pandemic, participation increased to more than 8,804 online users. In addition to increased participation online, they now have over 3500 subscribers tuned in to email communications.
And in 2021, Montgomery County’s Department of Technology and Enterprise Business Solutions won three awards from the National Association of Counties, including the “Best in Category” award for adapting its Senior Planet program in Montgomery County designed for learners 50 and older to an online edition during the COVID-19 health crisis.
Senior Planet in Montgomery County looks forward to continuing to change the lives of Montgomery County’s older adults by providing free, high-quality technology training to enable all residents to participate in the digital economy.
Want to Participate?
For seniors centrally located in Maryland, The Greater DMV area, or elsewhere, interested in participating in classes, this page is a great place to start: seniorplanet.org/montgomery
Interested in attending the celebration? Register for the event here.
Want to offer your congratulations? Let us know in the comments!
NaBeela Washington, an emerging Black writer, holds a Master’s in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University and Bachelor’s in Visual Advertising from The University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has been published in Eater, The Cincinnati Review, and others. Learn more at nabeelawashington.com.