By David Volz
Jack Rostock and his best friend, Noah Smith, want to make a positive difference in the community.
They realized that many seniors struggle with the latest computer technology and can barely communicate with their grandchildren.
Jack and Noah discovered Computer Literacy Education Outreach (CLEO), an organization with a unique mission to empower seniors with digital literacy skills. The program aims to bridge the gap between older and younger generations by enabling seniors to work with the latest digital technology.
The program was initiated in Fort Myers and has since expanded to other regions.
Jack and Noah are neighbors in Parkland and students at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton. They have been close friends for years and worked together to establish a CLEO chapter at their school, which has attracted other students.
In October, 12 members visited senior citizens at Aston Gardens in Parkland.
“It was our first time, and I did not know what to expect. We helped the residents to learn the basics of technology, such as how to use apps or work with emails,” said Jack, who also plays on the St. Andrew’s baseball team as a pitcher and infielder. “We have many clubs at our school, but this was different, and we helped older people learn about computers.”
The experience was far richer than one person helping another individual. The students enjoyed spending time with the seniors and learning from them. “We were building friendships, and it was very positive.”
Noah, who is on the St. Andrew’s lacrosse team, enjoyed the experience and looks forward to going back.
“I was able to help an older woman who had not seen her daughter in years use FaceTime to speak with her. It was an emotional moment. I hope to continue this,” he said.
St. Andrew’s CLEO members plan to return to Aston Gardens on December 10 and are looking forward to it.
Jack’s father, Scott Rostock, is proud of his son, Noah, and the St. Andrew’s students who are part of CLEO. “They are showing initiative and doing something positive in the community,” he said.
Other CLEO club members include Emma Smith, Delaney Beighley, Colvin Hall, Cole Denton, Jordan Mordis, Matteo Moran, Chris Ged, Theo Loucas, Jack Rostock, Brandon Mordis, and Noah Smith.
Scott credits Lariza Ramsammy, the faculty club advisor for CLEO at St. Andrews. “She helps the students with the club and accompanies them when they go to Aston Gardens,” he said.
According to Scott, Jack and Noah have helped their grandparents with computer technology.
Jack and Noah hope to grow the club and continue to develop positive relationships with people in the senior community.
- David Volz has worked as a writer in South Florida for 35 years. He has written for the Sun-Sentinel, Hollywood Gazette, School Transportation News, South Dade News Leaders, Observer among others. He has an MA in Communications from Florida Atlantic University and a BA in Communications from Valparaiso University. Volz teaches Communications at Miami Dade College and Palm Beach State College. He lives in Coral Springs and enjoys running and participating in 5Ks and half-marathons.
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