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Mind Out for the Millennium


Expand your mind and learn to live your dreams in 2000 - says the Campaign for Learning in their new year campaign.

A New Year is a significant landmark in all of our lives. We review last year's achievements and anticipate the next year's. This year, the dawning of the new millennium prompts us to reflect more than ever on our lives, our achievements, and ambitions.

This January, the Campaign for Learning is urging everyone to make a millennium learning pledge that will take us one step closer to fulfilling some of those ambitions.

The Campaign will be working to encourage older people, in particular, to think about what they would like to learn. The Second World War and the elitist education system in place during the 1940s/50s, meant that a lot of today's older generation did not have the choice of learning opportunities that we take for granted today: two-thirds of 'third agers' left school by 15 and 60% of those aged 50 -69 have no qualifications, compared to only 18% of today's twenty year olds.

However, with longer life expectancies, earlier retirement practices and more opportunities to learn, older people are increasingly in a position where they can take advantage of the learning choices available today. Recent research found that painting, gardening, fishing and IT featured high on the list of things older people wanted to learn. The learning doesn't have to take place on a course. Television, magazines and museums are just a few providers of learning outside the classroom.

It is also true that whilst our bodies start to deteriorate from an early age, our brain can actually grow new cells throughout life. Research has shown that learning in later years can keep us mentally fit, just as keeping active keeps us physically fit.

Older people can also contribute enormously to younger people's learning. The different generations have lived through vastly different experiences and there is an enormous wealth of knowledge that can be shared.
The Campaign for Learning would like to encourage older people to initiate an exchange of information between the generations. Impress your grandchildren by learning to surf the internet or beat them at their favourite computer game.

Why not make your millennium pledge on-line now. A lot of community organisations such as libraries, museums, bookshops and colleges provide free internet access. It may be your first step towards mastering the web.

Alternatively you can send us your millennium learning pledge on a postcard to: Millennium Learning Resolutions Campaign for Learning 19 Buckingham Street London, WC2N 6EF
We will be documenting learning pledges as news releases for the media and also displaying them on the Campaign's website, so send us a photograph if you want to be identified! Mind out for the Millennium A2 posters will also be available during December (subject to availability) so please contact the Campaign office if you'd like to receive one.


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