How to Use This Network
New Programs!
I Want to Offer a Program

SLN: Our ” Why”

The Senior Learning Network (SLN) recognizes the continuous learning needs of retired citizens by developing educational programming designed specifically for this age group. It recognizes the importance of learning to the healthy maintenance of the brain and that learning should be expansive and interactive.

The Network brings remarkable people and programs right into your world. Visit behind the scenes of the ballet and talk to dancers about their current performance or career; talk to the National Archives on research in genealogy; interact with authors to discuss their books and writing style; learn from scientists why they are trying to replicate spider silk – anything you can imagine can be brought to you.

What we do…

  • Distance Learning: The Senior Learning Network provides learning opportunity for older adults. Participating sites can connect to scientists, authors, historians, artists, museums and other professionals through videoconferencing.
  • Activity Professional Brainstorming Sessions:  A monthly time for members to share what you are doing with another center. Brainstorm ideas for continued life-long learning in your community! 
  • Professional Development: Share professional development with other sites. It helps your budget go farther.
  • Be a Presenter:  If you know of people with special backgrounds or interests, they can share their knowledge (live) with other sites in the network. 

Who do we serve…

·            Retirement Communities

·            Community Centers

·            Individuals in their Homes

Reviews from our Members

“Yes! The Senior Learning Network is a fantastic program.  Today we are teleconferencing at 1:00 with National Archives.  We will be learning how to use the National Archives as a source for discovering documentation into your family’s past.  On August 27th we are taking a live dive of the Channel Islands to discover the kelp forests and the seldom-seen world of rich marine life without even getting wet.” Susan Newville Hopkins, MN

Video Conferencing opens windows that I thought had been closed “- Virginia Parker 85 – John Knox Village Resident

 “SLN has added a wonderful dimension to our ” Activities” Calendar in our Retirement Community! As a Lifestyle Director, I have loved watching our residents continue on a path to life long learning as they have visited with so many wonderful people and places without leaving home!  I highly recommend Senior Learning Network.. amazing potential! You guys are the BOMB!!”Garry Wheeler John Knox Village 

“Our residents enjoyed today’s program with Brown vs Board of Education! … but the BEST part, for me personally- is that not one of them left the room for a long time after the program. It immediately sparked discussion in a couple of different groups.. which is something I LOVE to see!  They were just each recounting their own experiences during that time period, and we did all learn a lot. ” RE The Historic Brown v. Board of Education Decision. –

Terry, Lifestyle Director Atlanta GA

Our History

Lynne Beachner and Ellen Erivn

The initial idea for Senior Learning Network came about during a personal experience of co-founder, Ellen Ervin. When Ervin brought her aging father to the National World I Museum in Kansas City, she found it incredibly difficult to navigate the galleries with her father’s limited mobility. This experience was not unique to Ellen, as her partner Lynne Beachner had dealt with the very same issues in her own family. Both educators, Ellen and Lynne realized the need to provide engaging, lifelong learning experiences, like that of the National World War I Museum tour, to aging individuals who are unable to travel. After much experimenting and implementing- the Senior Learning Network was born!

Sadly for us all, we lost Ellen unexpectedly in 2019, and Lynne picked up the mantle while still working her full time job as  field supervisor for charter schools. While she said it’s been a joy to be a part of the SLN process, she did suffer a blow when Ellen passed away.  “She was passionate about education, and well versed in live, interactive technological programming. More than that, Ellen was an “irreplaceable” friend and partner,” Beachner said. “She knew so much more about technology than I did, and she absolutely loved running this organization and loved helping people,” Beachner said.  

Lynne carried on the work of SLN  as the remaining co-founder until March of 2020, when she announced her retirement and the non-profit “Generations Learning” closed it’s doors. The Senior Learning Network re-opened as an LLC, with Terry Earl as the director. Terry was a lifestyle director in both Independent and Assisted Living for several years, and always enthusiastically  introduced SLN to her communities as she also remained with SLN as a board member as well as a volunteer.  

Today we count it a privilege to move forward with new programs and opportunities to continue to connect senior adults all across the country with life long learning while curving social isolation .  We are forever grateful for both Ellen and Lynne, and their sacrificial gift of time and talent to make a difference in our lives every day through the power of life-long learning !