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Learning festival aimed at the over-50s

Month-long event includes tours, courses
The Straits Times - September 29, 2014
By: Linette Lai
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Learning festival aimed at the over-50s Besides the festival, the Council for Third Age and the National Library Board have lined up events aimed at encouraging active ageing as a way of life. -- ST FILE PHOTO

LIFE begins at 50 - or at least where the Council for Third Age (C3A) is concerned.

On Wednesday, the group will kick off a month-long celebration of lifelong learning, targeted at people aged 50 and above.

Highlights will include heritage tours, art and craft workshops and grandparenting seminars. All events will be free of charge.

The festival's organisers see it as a chance for seniors to pick up skills they never found the time for previously.

"At a certain age, you might find there's something you really want to pursue, or something you want to learn," said C3A chief executive Soh Swee Ping.

"It could be something as simple as the guitar or calligraphy."

The event, called Time of Your Life - Learning Journeys for the 50plus, is jointly organised by C3A and the National Library Board.

It will be followed by five months of exhibitions which will tour seven public libraries, leading up to C3A's 50plus Expo - an annual event to promote active ageing - in March.

"It's not just a one-off event," Ms Soh said.

"We want to make active ageing a way of life - it becomes part of their routine and it becomes natural."

She hopes that the festival will reach out to at least 1,000 over-50s.

One person looking forward to the festival is 79-year-old Ou Mei Zhu, who wants to sign up for a Chinese brush painting class.

"It sounds interesting," she said.

"I've gone for cooking classes at community centres, and sometimes I draw a bit at home, but I've never gone for any classes."

Next month's line-up of events fall into five categories - financial literacy, family, health, arts and heritage - and will be held at public libraries.

Those who wish to sign up for them can do so via eKiosks at any library.

Visit www.nlb.gov.sg/golibrary and key in TOYL in the search box on the top right to see full event listings.

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