By Andrea Arnold

Robson Valley seniors have the opportunity to participate in senior specific workshops, training and digital literacy enhancing activities through the Robson Valley Connections Program (RVCP). Five individuals will be chosen to benefit from the program over the next year.

“RVCP, run through Robson Valley Community Services, is one of 20 pilot projects selected through a grant application through the United Way, to help deliver digital learning and virtual activities for older adults living at home in their communities,” said RVCS employee and program manager Jana MacMaster.

The United Way provided RVCS with five Itech Packages, reconfigured Samsung Galaxy tablets, and data/technical support through the “Geek Squad” at Best Buy..

“RVCS will provide education and support to build confidence and skills in using the devices,” said MacMaster. It is the hope of RVCS to see older adults staying active, engaged and connected.

To be selected for the program, those interested are asked to begin by completing a survey illustrating personal digital literacy skills. Then, through a short essay, 250 words or less, applicants are asked why they, or another senior would benefit from being one of the five chosen. The surveys and essays can be submitted by email, over the phone or by COVID restriction compliant drop-off/pick-up. The deadline for applications and submissions is April 30, 2021. There is a possibility of a week extension on that deadline, but that had not been decided at press time.

“I hope seniors will call to find out more about this program,” said MacMaster. “That they will nominate themselves or someone to take part in it! We really want to reach out to Seniors who could benefit, and would like to increase their digital literacy skills, and increase connection to their families and their community.”

Selection will be based on the following: those who do not currently have an electronic device, no wifi/data, and those who demonstrate a high need for social interaction due to: geographical isolation, not driving, & few supports (i.e. family and friends).