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State Honoree

Jonathan Cheek

Virginia

wrote a curriculum and conducted classes to teach senior citizens how to navigate the World Wide Web. Jonathan helped his grandmother learn how to use the Internet, and realized how frustrating it was for her to understand it. “Many seniors say that they feel left behind by all the new technology,” said Jonathan. “They are intimated and scared at the prospect of having to learn something new.” So Jonathan decided to recruit fellow students and members of his Boy Scout troop to help him teach area seniors how to participate in the electronic revolution. He approached the program coordinator of the local office of senior programs, wrote articles for local papers, taught a group of teen tutors, and arranged a schedule of eight classes. Jonathan also sought and received approval to use the computer lab at the local middle school. Nearly 70 seniors signed up for the courses, which Jonathan taught while the tutors worked one-on-one with the seniors. Participants learned how to connect to the web, navigate a web page, use a search engine, and send e-mail. Not only did the seniors learn valuable information about the Internet, but Jonathan’s course helped bridge the generation gap. “There is nothing quite like the feeling you get from showing people how to do something that will enrich their lives,” he said.