Frank Ciliberti - Founder
History of the Computer Learning Center @ Calendar House.
The Southington Senior Center opened a Learning Center in 2000 in a newly built addition to Calendar House. Its first function was to offer computer education to older adults through a new affiliation with the international organization, SeniorNet.
For Southington, it all started in 1999 when Calendar House Executive Director Bob Verderame had a notion that the community's seniors would spark to the idea of learning about computers. His staff and Board of Directors supported this thought and contacted SeniorNet.
Calendar House volunteer Frank Ciliberti was asked to establish the Learning Center. Ciliberti combined the expertise of his son, Mark, Neil Kucinkas, and a handful of others to start up the computer lab using some used, donated computers from Southern New England Telephone Company.
Local concerns, such as the Main Street Foundation of the Bristol Savings Bank and The Southern New England Telephone Company, made grants and donations to afford more equipment, course materials, and furniture. Sessions were held by the regional consultant of SeniorNet to train instructors and coaches and to guide in the formation of course offerings. A staff of some 30 volunteers was organized to handle the administration, training and technical functions of the Learning Center.
In February, 2000, the Southington Learning Center opened its doors to the first ten students with seniors teaching seniors the first course: "Introduction to Computers." Since then, more than 2500 graduates of The Computer Learning Center at Calendar House had experienced the computer magic offered in a wide variety of courses.
In 2006, Frank Ciliberti, our learning center founder, retired and moved to Pennsylvania. Peter Freeman joined the center as manager after a year of working closely with Ciliberti. Peter was ideal for the role being recently retired from the insurance industry. During his 33 years in the insurance field he was primarily involved in the training and management of people. One of his most recent assignments was running a school for insurance agents where he had to recruit students, develop curriculum, manage a budget, and teach. Sound familiar?
In 2007, Mark White joined the center as the Assistant Manager. Mark is a retired engineer from Rolls-Royce North America Inc., who has significant computer technical expertise. He has been instrumental in updating our computers, establishing a wireless internet service, developing an automated registration and enrollment system, and chairing several of our committees
In 2010 computer Lab at Calendar House cut its ties with the SeniorNet National organization. This had the effect of significantly reducing the net class cost to our local students. Disassociation with SeniorNet meant that we could no longer use the SeniorNet name or logo. So, the computing Lab now became "The Computer Learning Center @ Calendar House" and this new web site, www.CalendarHouse.org, was set up, which in addition to the computer learning center activities, now includes details of other Calendar House activities.
The Computer Learning Center @ Calendar House is managed independantly by Calendar House volunteers.
Typically four class sessions, each about eight weeks long, are held annually, each preceded by a couple of reservation events prior to the start of classes.
The classes cover a wide range of topics ranging from the basic fundamentals to digital photography and the new electronic devices that are appearing.
We are always looking for volunteers who can help with the classes or even teach or help with computer maintenance. Why not come and join us?.
For more details on any topic related to our computing or other Calendar House activities, please call 860-621-3014 or E-Mail us at ComputerLearningCenter@CalendarHouse.org