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Showing posts from January, 2013

Lifelong Learning Lessons

At the beginning of the year, I posted the question, "what contribution to your community's calendar are you the most proud of in 2012?" One of the options was "add a new educational program" and it was not selected once. I was very surprised and it made me think to share some of the ways that I have added more educational opportunities to my retirement community's activity calendar.  First, when I think about education and what would appeal to the independent living residents in my community, the subjects are varied and endless. Some of the topics off the top of my head are Art Appreciation, Crafts, Dance, Drawing, Picture Matting and Framing, Music Appreciation, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Theater, Environmental, Self-Improvement, Cooking, Sports, History, Current Events, Literature, Foreign Language, Digital Photo, Social Networking, Computers, Nature, Scrapbooking, Jewelry Making, Health and Wellness and more. The benefits of partic

Speaking? Face Your Fears!

A few years ago, my company started at Toastmasers club in our retirement community for any staff member who wanted to participate. As the activities director in the community, I am one of the people who is regularly on stage introducing programs and talking in front of groups of residents. I thought,   why do I need to join this program? Well, the answer was not far from the surface, once I took a good look at myself. “Because, I can be better!” If you are like me, it is not a problem to introduce a speaker, entertainer, or to speak to “my” residents… or even to a group of fellow staff members. I use to be fearful when my boss was in the audience, but that is not the case anymore. When I asked myself the question, “Why join Toastmasters?” I realized that I am not be comfortable in other settings except the one inside my community’s four walls. I also felt that I had another weakness that could be reduced from joining the group, and that was to be sociable in situations where

Fun Extras

It is the first day of the year and I am thinking about work on my day off. Shows you how much I love my job as activities director.... or some would say, how I "need to get out more!".... anyway, I am always looking for new inspiration for an activity and I found, again, a few websites that show us unique days  or themes for the month. I like Holiday a lot because when you click on the link, it gives you information about the special day. I think if you have the background information, it helps you promote the idea of the program to your residents. Some of these ideas inspired me as I reviewed them this time, because I've been trying to find a way to get resident's names and quick facts of interest out to the community, either through the monthly newsletter or our in-house TV channel. I believe that when they see their name, or that of their friends, that they will read or watch with greater interest. Another cute site that I like to get ideas for un