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Center for Active Living gets $142,218 grant for kayaks, bikes, classes and more

The technological component of the grant includes laptops, iPads, software, antivirus protection, a new projector, a smart board, webcams and even a cutting machine. 

Center for Active Living
The Center for Active Living in Worthington.
The Globe

WORTHINGTON — A $142,218 grant for the Center for Active Living will go toward kayaks, bicycles and an assortment of technology, plus teaching, health promotion and more.

“It’s going to be a great year,” said Jill Cuperus, director of the CAL. “We’re going to do lots of fun things.”

Cuperus applied for the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging grant in September and did some revisions in October. As a Title III-B grant, it focuses on education and training for new skills, so some of it will cover instructor salaries and a portion of Cuperus’s salary, she said.

Some of it will also be used for health promotion and equipment for outdoor activities. Kayaks will be purchased for people to use at the lake, and bicycles for people to use around town. A raised garden bed will allow the green-thumbed to practice their skills at the center without having to worry about kneeling or standing up again.

“I've only been here 6 months and I think this is the biggest grant the CAL’s been awarded,” Cuperus said.

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The technological component of the grant includes laptops, iPads, software, antivirus protection, a new projector, a smart board, webcams and even a cutting machine.

The CAL is partnering with Minnesota West Community and Technical College for technology training too, and will offer a 4 to 6 week Introduction to Gmail and the Google Suite course. The class will begin with the basics, but should help participants become comfortable using Google Drive, Photo and Meet utilities.

The class will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday starting Jan. 19, and due to the grant, anyone age 60 plus can participate for free. That includes people who aren’t CAL members.

“We just want to build people’s confidence so they’re able to do things,” Cuperus said. “... we do want to do a big push of getting people comfortable and familiar with using laptops and Google and iPads.”

The CAL is more of an adult community center than what most people think of as a senior center, and members are generally vibrant, very active and busy, Cuperus said. As many of them didn’t grow up with technology, they may worry about breaking things, or just aren’t as confident with the tech as younger generations.

“We just want to take that fear out of not knowing,” Cuperus explained.

The grant also includes funding for translation, advertisement, postage and wifi.

While all grant-funded programming will be free to anyone age 60 and older, membership with the Center for Active Living is open to anyone age 50 and older for $35 a year. For more information, visit the CAL at 211 11th St. or call (507) 376-6457.

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