Learning about a group of lifelong learners

Originally published in the Kenosha News

By Health and Well-Being Educator, Mary Metten

Earlier this summer, my boss told me about a local organization I would begin to work with in a liaison role.

As she talked about the Kenosha County Association for Home & Community Education, I started to read information she handed over to me and hunt around online to educate myself.

Since then, I have been able to attend an executive board meeting and earlier this week attended one day of its annual state conference.

It has been apparent the members enjoy collaborating and spending time with one another, which is a great asset to success.

I have quickly learned this is an impressive and motivated group, to say the least.

Kenosha County Association for Home & Community Education

The Wisconsin Association for Home & Community Education Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization with history dating back to 1939 in Madison.

The roots of WAHCE centered on ways to empower women living in rural communities. In the passing years, WAHCE has evolved with the times and needs of Wisconsin residents.

Kenosha County Association for Home & Community Education has been in existence since 1951; the majority of counties across the state have local organizations.

Their mission is to offer educational opportunities, improve leadership skills of its members, and provide service to the community.

What KCAHCE does locally

The organization gives opportunity for members to volunteer within the community.

Examples of what the local organization does are: providing scholarships; organizing and administering Wisconsin Bookworms, which provides free books and early reading experience for young children in Kenosha County; and fundraising for community service projects. KCAHCE also provides regular educational programming for their members.

The statewide organization collaborates with UW-Extension to ensure members continue to obtain high quality education about emerging or important topics.

For instance, attendees of the 2018 state conference were trained in topics of Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma and the importance of credit and credit reports. Those topics will be brought back to educate members in Kenosha County.

The significance of continuously learning

Children are typically thought of as society’s learners, as they are going through school and learning so much during childhood.

Once you are tied up in family life, career and out of the habit, it can become unfamiliar to seek out educational opportunities.

This should not be and is not the case to get the best results throughout your adult life.

Being a lifelong learner aides in keeping your mind sharp, even when you are long past traditional schooling. When you continue to engage in learning about new skills and topics, there are benefits to your overall functioning.

Research from the Association for Psychological Science found significant importance in education of the unfamiliar and mentally challenging, as it provides mental and social stimulation. This will, in turn, help retain and enhance your cognitive functioning.

Always continue seeking out information and opportunities that pique your interests and stretch your base of knowledge, as it will continue to make a positive and lasting impact.

For more information about KCAHCE, please visit: https://kenosha.uwex.edu/family-living/kenosha-county-association-for-home-and-community-education-2/.