AT THE TEEN Tech Savvy program student Colleen Scanlon (center) provides tips to Carol Angelo (l)  and Beverly Levy (r). (Michael Geoffrion Scannell Photo)

Published in the May 3, 2018 edition.


NORTH READING — Since January, a group of North Reading High School students called the Teen Tech Tutors have been providing technology assistance to senior citizens at the Edith O’Leary Senior Center on the last Tuesday of each month.

The Teen Tech Tutors have been working to help senior citizens who need help learning how to use their various technology devices.

The program is offered by the North Reading High School Student Council, and was the brainchild of council member Elizabeth “Lizzie” Barrett. She decided to form the tutoring group after helping her aunt use her smartphone.

“If my aunt is having problems with this technology, probably a bunch of other people are too,” said Barrett.

Barrett brought that idea to Student Council faculty advisor Amy St. Arnaud, who suggested it to the Student Council. The Teen Tech Tutors have provided a lot of helpful technology advice to seniors such as setting up voicemail and learning how to use voice-to-text software.

If the Teen Tech Tutors are unable to solve a problem, Barrett said they will work diligently to find the answer.

Barrett was among the several students who came to the most recent event, which took place on Tuesday, April 24. The tutors worked with the seniors in small groups.

Carol Angelo, who has lived in North Reading for 47 years, said she enjoyed working with Student Council member Colleen Scanlon.

“(Scanlon) taught me how to take pictures that were sent to me and put them in my phone with my other photos,” said Angelo. “She taught me how to delete some contacts that I had too many of, and to upgrade my emails and my texting.”

Student Council Secretary Duncan Macneil said he enjoys helping local seniors.

“I showed one man how to text and how to use his phone, like how to use the actual phone part, and how to check his voicemail on his flip phone,” said Macneil.

Macneil continued, “It’s any technology that they have trouble with they’re welcome to bring. We’re going to try our best to help them.” He said the students have typed up a list of frequently asked questions. He added, “one woman asked how to set up an Uber account! Every random question that they have, we’re here to help.”

If seniors need help with their technology devices, the next event is Tuesday, May 29 beginning at 2:45 p.m. at the Senior Center located on the first floor of the Third Meetinghouse on the Common, 157 Park St.