OTB Brings Literature Seminars to Knox Retirement Community

We’re all books nerds here at OTB, and we believe that engagement with literature has the potential to improve lives. We are pleased to announce, then, that starting in August Own the Boards will host a literature seminar pilot program aiming to do just that.

We’ve partnered with Sherrill Hills Retirement Community, located in West Knoxville, to develop LifeWords Literature Seminars,  a life-long learning initiative providing residents with literature instruction and the opportunity to share with family and friends performances of literature they’ve put to memory. Our goal is to create a program that is beneficial, enjoyable, and meaningful to participants, and that adds a local facet to our online initiatives.

Dr. Laura Keigan hosts information meeting at Sherrill Hills Retirement Community.

Dr. Laura Keigan hosts informational meeting at Sherrill Hills Retirement Community.

The Program

We’ve carefully aligned the program’s structure with current research on cognitive aging and the therapeutic potential of reading, discussion, and performance. Studies in elder care point to a need for quality programming that is not only entertaining but stimulating on multiple fronts – intellectually, emotionally, and physically. In particular, programs that combine intellectual rigor with physical activity have proven most promising in promoting cognitive health and helping participants maintain a high quality of life.

Each seminar meeting will combine independent reflection, group discussion, and recitation/performance exercises, with this last element providing the physical component lacking in many similar programs. What’s more, each semester will culminate in a recitation showcase, where residents will perform memorized pieces for family and friends, and perhaps post their works on our Youtube archive, creating a sort of literary legacy.


Sherrill Hills residents awaiting session specifics.

Since this is a pilot program, we’ll be seeking feedback from participants on how we can improve the seminars and curriculum. Our goal is to expand to other interested Knoxville retirement communities in Fall 2016.

Be on the lookout for program updates in the coming weeks and email if you have questions regarding the program.

We can’t wait to start this next exciting stage of OTB‘s overall mission!