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Fresno seniors receive Kindles

Friday, November 16, 2012

Some senior citizens are rekindling their interest in reading thanks to a local college.

They're putting aside their books for a new Kindle.

"I think it's wonderful if I can learn how to use one," Orchard Park resident George Poplin said.

On Friday, the University of Phoenix donated e-readers to residents of Orchard Park to help promote lifelong learning.

Residents say in their lifetime they've witnessed a lot of change.

"I was born in 1924 in a small town nothing not even a radio then, so we've come a ways," Poplin said.

University employees were on hand to teach the seniors how to use the new readers.

Resident Mary Kennedy even taught others a few tricks that she picked up.

"For one thing it's fun and you start learning that way and it starts making sense to me. Right now I'm so excited that I don't think I'm saying much," Kennedy said.

Experts say learning new things is good for cognitively and socially.

"They are able to socialize in a new way. Their brain lights up with interest and their mood is obviously elevated, they're getting something new and interesting to them," Dr. Mary Johnson of UCSF said.

At the age of 93, Mary Kennedy says she is just impressed how much information you can get in such a small device.

"That is just beautiful. If I push this what happens?" Kennedy said.

Although the seniors will learn by trial and error, many are excited just to have the chance to try it out.

Orchard Park officials say they're thankful for these kindles. And they say today shows, you're never too old to learn something new.

The Orchard Park residents are now planning to organize a Kindle book club to keep up with the technology and stay connected.

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