September is upon us and with the change of season comes the flurry and excitement accompanying the start of a new school year. Whether you are a student eager to embrace the challenges and rewards of classroom activities or a parent, juggling the necessary chores for your child’s return to school, there is little debate that the “school endeavor” is in the forefront of everyone’s minds. It is strange though, that even if one’s children have grown and one is no longer a part of the chaotic trips to Staples for markers and folders, the month of September elicits for many, the feelings of a new year, replete with the hopes of learning new things and engaging in new activities. Perhaps it is the long repetitive history of our own “first day of school” experiences that rekindle this desire to learn, but whatever the reason, and whatever the age, September seems to usher in a deep-rooted desire for knowledge, in many of us.
The Country House, an assisted living community in Yorktown Heights, is keenly aware of the wonderful effects that gaining knowledge plays on our psyches. Amy Pietrangolare, The Director of Life Enrichment at the community, has developed a Country Scholars program where residents can attend a lecture, participate in an educational discussion group, or offer presentations to the Country House community on their expertise in a specific area. Recently, Country House residents listened to a fabulous lecture about the Dalai Lama and his universal belief in “kindness.” Not only was the lecture interesting, but some of the philosophical components of the speech gave fodder for future discussion amongst the residents. Lectures at The Country House are eclectic and include topics as diverse as “Becoming Tech Savvy”, “Spiritual Awakening” and “Learning How to Draw.” There is an inherent belief in lifelong learning at this community and the activities that are offered to residents reflect this never-ending quest to know more. So, as school age children begin their journey to learn about Columbus and long division, The Country House residents will continue their lifelong journey of enriching their lives through knowledge.