Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 19 September |
Our Lady of La Salette
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

This woman started elementary school … at the age of 105!

ERMELINDA ANDRADE

Facebook Hogar de Ancianos Municipal -Elena Herbert de Estefanell

Matthew Green - Esteban Pittaro - published on 01/20/19

We're never too old to learn.

Ermelinda is 105 years old, and since she never went to elementary school, she’s finally facing the challenge at the home for the elderly where she lives. She has great grandchildren who are in the same grade as she is! At the Elena Herbert de Estefanell Home for the Elderly, she takes classes twice a week together with other elderly peers who didn’t have the opportunity to go to primary school when they were children. However, she is the only centenarian in the group; she’s between 15 and 25 years older than her classmates.

At the home, located in Chascomús in the Buenos Aires province of Argentina, Ermelinda reads poetry, does exercises, and writes, although sometimes it’s hard for her to hold the pencil, according to an interview with her published in Clarín, a news outlet in Argentina. “I love to read. My mom, Etelvina Álvarez, taught me,” she says.Age, for her, isn’t an obstacle. “I can’t sit around doing nothing. Besides, I don’t feel my age. If I had to give a number, I’d say at most, I feel like I’m 60,” she told the paper.

ERMELINDA ANDRADE
Facebook Hogar de Ancianos Municipal -Elena Herbert de Estefanell

When she was a girl, she says — one of 13 siblings — she had to help work on the farm, so she couldn’t go to school. “I made cheese with my butt,” she jokes to Clarín’s reporter, explaining that when they made cheese, they put a wooden plank on top of it, and she would sit on the plank to press and dry the cheese.

The same happened to thousands of children of her generation, who today are elderly grandparents. As was normal in cases such as hers, whatever education she received — learning to read and write and do arithmetic — was learned at home.

Now, the School of the Home for the Elderly is offering them knowledge they never received. It’s a joint project of the Home for the Elderly with Adult Education Center 702. This is just one of the activities offered by the Home, which is the pride of the city, with capacity for more than 60 residents. Thanks to the agreement between the two institutions, a teacher goes twice a week in the afternoon to give classes to residents. The other days of the week, the elderly participate in walks, art workshops, cooking classes, and parties, among other activities.

ERMELINDA ANDRADE
Facebook Hogar de Ancianos Municipal -Elena Herbert de Estefanell

Thousands of adults in Argentina are facing the challenge of finishing their primary and secondary education. This year, more than 110,000 adults registered to finish their studies.

ERMELINDA ANDRADE
Facebook Hogar de Ancianos Municipal -Elena Herbert de Estefanell

The challenge is great throughout the world. According to a 2017 UNESCO report, in the year 2015 there were “264 million primary and secondary age children and youth out of school,” and “very few adults who have not completed primary education go back to school.” People like Ermelinda are an example of a desire to learn that should inspire us all to take advantage of the opportunities we have to learn and grow, no matter our age.


96 Year Old Georgina

Read more:
Watch how this 96-year-old woman is helping to end loneliness among the elderly (VIDEO)


DEMENTIA,FRIENDSHIP,CHILD

Read more:
This sweet story illustrates why kids need to spend more time with the elderly

Tags:
EducationInspiration

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
2
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
3
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
4
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
5
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
6
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
7
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.