Elders Learning Community

Organization Associated with Program
Elders Learning Community
3701 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, California 94805

Elders Learning Community (ELC) is in its 9th year of serving older adults (over 60) who are low-income, frail, or homebound in West Contra Costa County, California. They are often the elders who can't make it to the average senior center due to financial or health barriers. We use a humanistic model for learning that is based on participants' unique interests and capabilities. Our program connects trained volunteers from the community with senior participants to become Learning Partners. Together, they develop creative learning projects of mutual interest. In recent years these have included art, music, science, computers, history, memoir writing, and photography. We also host monthly groups where interested participants gather to work on art projects and delve into local history. Senior participants, ELC staff, and our dedicated volunteers are what make up our "community of learners." ELC serves approximately 20 older adults in the Learning Community each year.

Program History

Founded in 2005 by local community and human rights advocate Amy Rock, the Elders Learning Community (ELC) seeks to address the effects of disengagement impacting the lives of so many West County Seniors. The Learning Community engages eligible older adults through learning partnerships with volunteers and groups in the community. ELC also provides free case management to approximately 40 seniors a year in the areas of transportation, food assistance, and medical referrals to eligible older adults. Some elders participate both aspects of our programming (case management and Learning Community). Many of the Learning Community participants stay with the program for years. Lifelong Medical is the fiscal sponsor for ELC.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Exhibiting Artwork, Participate in a Class
Arts Discipline: Literature, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts
Interdisciplinary Connections: Volunteerism
Target Audience: Frail Older Adults
Adaptive Program Design Hearing Disabilities, Visual Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities
Program Setting: Arts Organization, House of Worship / Religious Center
Program Service Area: Urban
Type of Practice: