Life-long learning is important

Part of the reason I’m drawn to journalism is because I get to learn new things all the time. I get to hear from people from all walks of life about what they’re passionate about. Learning is fun and it’s not just for students in school.

In one of our stories this week, we told you about a Miller Middle School teacher, Ann Jackson, who will be one of a group of 18 American teachers on the professional development trip touring World War I memorial sites in France this summer. As I read the story, I was inspired by what she said.

“Just modeling that lifelong learning is important to do, she said. Learning doesn’t end when you graduate or get a degree.”

How true is that? Yet, I think learning can get a bad rap sometimes. Not everyone is or was a fan of formal education and sometimes learning is seen as one and the same. But learning is really about gaining new knowledge and insight. You can learn through many means besides formal education and the beauty of it is you can choose what you learn about.

This past weekend, the Marshalltown Public Library celebrated its 10th anniversary in the new facility. The programs and wealth of materials are an excellent way for people of all ages to learn. I remember doing the reading challenges growing up albeit at its former facility which is when I grew to love reading for fun. Maybe reading isn’t your thing, but there’s plenty of other ways to learn.

Iowa Valley also offers a variety of programs to continue learning at any age. If you haven’t attended a program, you might consider doing that. We’re lucky to have that resource and many other opportunities in Marshalltown.

Simply being involved in the community is a great way to learn. It doesn’t have to be a class or anything structured, but by meeting new people or being a part of a cause, you inevitably learn.

Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at age 20 or 80.” No matter your age, find a fun way to keep learning.