Highlightsof Extension TYI NG RESEARCH TO REAL LI F E COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, H EALTH AND NATURAL RESOURCES program. People at this age often find themselves isolated. This is a way to keep their brains active and maintain a social connection.” “I visited similar programs across the country,” Love says. “This is by far the least expensive, and it’s run by a phenomenal group of retired people who have devoted an enormous amount of their time to make this program work. It’s the hardest working group of volunteers I know.” On average, the Center maintains approximately 250 members, with twenty to sixty people attending each class. The College provides extension staff assistance, as well as a location with parking. In turn, the CLIR contributes $6,000 per year to the University. “We’ve had wonderful faculty members come in and speak,” Love says. “Steve is phenomenal at asking people to lecture. We’ve had presentations from the UConn president and provost, as well as almost every dean. Little by little, the group is becoming more woven into the UConn community.” “This program is an example of why we need to be reflective about aging. When I went around the country, there were 95-year-olds teaching amazing dynamic courses that people couldn’t wait to get into. In our society, we tend to say that at a certain age we are done. For me, this program has been such a gift.” “Land grant universities were set up to serve all of the population,” Love points out. “Lifelong learning is a form of adult education and this outreach is critical to the mission of Extension.” Love hopes to build more partnerships with Extension, the University and the community. “I think there are collabora- tive partnerships that we could build that would engage populations of all ages with the community in ways that would be very powerful. Including everyone in the work of a community provides us with resources we may otherwise overlook. CLIR is a community resource that has provided an outstanding service for adult learners for twenty-five years.” CLIR provides meaningful and serious intellectual activities for retirees and other adults from all walks of life, conducted in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. There are no academic requirements. CLIR classes are offered in two formats: single classes and courses. A single class consists of one and a half hours. A course consists of two or more classes scheduled in successive weeks. All classes are held at the Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot Campus. Join CLIR today, new members are always welcome. You are invited to sample a single class or two at no cost. Confronting Tough Issues “Most of our speakers find themselves ten minutes into a talk before people pepper them with questions. People are very engaged.” Three times each academic year CLIR volunteers develop a course schedule that often includes classes on tough issues facing our society, providing members with expertise from knowledgeable presenters, as well as a forum to ask questions. One such topic is the huge problem of crumbling home foundations, currently being discussed by the state legislature. In February 2017, CLIR members heard contractor Salvatore De Sciscio identify the source of the problem, a mineral called pyr- rhotite that was unknowingly mixed in with concrete used to build hundreds of homes. He also discussed possible solutions. In a second class Attorney Brenda A. Draghi related her experiences with several af- fected families, recounting what can and is being done to help, and noting the financial impact on towns and cities for many years to come, as the greatly reduced value of the homes shrinks the property tax base. Both classes were well attended, and led to thoughtful discussions among participants and speakers. 2016 HIGHLIGHTS OF EXTENSION 19 TOOLS & TRAINING