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Classes help seniors learn to use computers and internet

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Buffalo: Classes help seniors learn to use computers and internet
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New technology can sometimes make older generations feel isolated and left behind. But a new program in Western New York is working to help change that by showing senior citizens how to use the computer and internet. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us more about The Net Cracker classes and how they're helping seniors bridge the technology gap.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – "It's a whole new world. Let's put it that way," said Dawn Hendricks.

She's exploring how to use the world wide web and computers in general by taking classes with The Net Cracker program, designed to help seniors connect to the digital world.

"I'm involved in my local church, and everyone that was around a table I was at had a computer, they had e-mails, and I felt like an outsider at my own church," said Hendricks.

"When I first started, I did this with the idea that it was really going to help people have fun, but what I'm finding is it's really helping people enhance their lives," said Tomaszewski, The Net Cracker instructor.

Tomaszewski says since she started the program, she's found that many seniors think they can't use the computer, "They're very afraid of it, they're afraid to use the mouse and they're extremely successful with it and are saying, 'You know what? This really isn't so bad.'"

Tomaszewski limits the classes to five people, to help put them at ease.

"They're all in the same boat, they kind of have fun and they relax with it," said Tomaszewski.

Hendricks says she's already getting the hang of things. "I have practiced at home on my computer and I found it quite easy with everything that she has taught us."

And she's confident she won't be feeling like an outsider anymore. "I'm thoroughly enjoying this lesson, and I just know that once I get going and keep practicing, I'll be able to fit in with the rest of my crowd there at my church," said Hendricks.

Anyone interested in learning more about The Net Cracker can call (716) 531-0494 or visit The Net Cracker

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