District 3 RTOERO Sault College Scholarship Recipient, Ali Hassan!

L to R:  Rita Wagner (OFRA), Page Nicolson (RTOERO), Sointu (Sandy) Fulcher (OFRA), Bruce Avery (RTOERO), Kathryn Greening (President District 3 RTOERO), Folgo DellaVedova (RTOERO) with the $4,000 cheque.

Ontario Finnish Rest Home (Sault) Receives RTOERO PSTO Grant, 2020

Ontario Finnish Rest Home’s Three Libraries to Buy Large Print and Audio Books
By Sointu (Sandy) Fulcher

Back in February 2020, before COVID – 19 was even mentioned, I started to work on a grant application with the Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTOERO ). My grant application (under PSTO – Project Service to Others ) was for large print books and audio books for Suomi Eesti Maja, Uusi Koti and Kotitalo ( 3 homes ) at the Ontario Finnish Rest Home Association. All of these homes / buildings have their own libraries in them. All the books in these libraries, over the years, have been donations from the residents, the staff and the volunteers. There has never been any money for a library budget to purchase new materials.

I was informed in October 2020, by the RTOERO that my grant application was approved and that I would be given $4000.00 to spend on new materials, namely large print books and audio books.
There will be 3 totes, one placed in each of the 3 homes to hold the books as well as the CD player for the audio books. The tote will stay for 4 months in one home, then it will be transported by my volunteers / assistants to another home. Each tote will hold 10 to12 large print books and 10 to 12 audio books. The residents in the 3 homes will have access to 30 to 36 large print books and 30 to 36 audio books in one year.  All of the material will be new and recent publications being purchased from Canadian book suppliers. The grant of $4000.00 has to be spent by June 2021.

In closing I want to thank my assistants for this project. They were/are Linda Ruhanen, Carol Kirkland-Boissineau, Rita Wagner, Merrilyn Webb and Geraldine Yeo. All of these people are retired teachers and a couple of them are/were teacher-librarians – so together we should create interesting reading material for the residents in 3 of the homes operated by Ontario Finnish Rest Home Association.

Happy Reading !!!

Thank you to RTOERO (Retired Teachers of Ontario) for this grant and the wonderful opportunity to enrich the lives of Seniors in Sault Ste. Marie.

Vision Screening – Bernice Whalen

Vision Screening has had a rough year with a nasty cold and flu season, various strike actions, capped off by the COVID-19 crisis.

The intrepid volunteers of the Vision Screening program did a valiant job.  Five schools whose strike action happened to fall on their vision screening day had to be rescheduled. All the volunteers were resilient and helpful in showing up for a new date.

COVID19 caused us to cancel the last five schools which we were prepared to screen.

A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers for doing such a wonderful job in these trying circumstances: Susan Allen, Jan Baraniuk, Ann Blake, Don Cameron, Randa Coulter, Carmen Charsley, Maria Dalton, Stella Dugas, Joyce Duncan, Maureen Gooderham, Mary Johns, David Kidd and Debbie Kidd, Myra Kiernan, Maria LaTassa, Carol McFarlane, Wendy Piper, Linda Prodan, Susan Shepherd, Carmelina Spry, Dave Tyrrel, Penny Tyrrel, Mary Anne Wilson, Rita Wagner, Merrilyn Webb, Geraldine Yeo and, of course, their leader Carolyn Evoy.

Thanks to this team 718 students in 23 schools were screened, and 190 students were identified as needing to see an optometrist.

Due to Covid-19, after ten years of operation, Vision Screening for next year has been put on hold.  The program does not provide the physical distance required. There is no way to maintain 2 metres in some schools and it is impossible to cover the student’s eye in order to conduct the test.  Most, if not all the volunteers are in the high-risk category.

Thus, it is with regret that the program is suspended until a COVID-19 vaccine is available and widely in use before asking anyone to administer the screening in schools.

Should you wish (when things are better) to join this wonderful team in providing this invaluable service to our youngest learners, please contact Carolyn Evoy at either 705-759-1145 or at carolyn.evoy@gmail.com.  It is Carolyn’s intent to keep a contact list, and when it is safe to resume, reach out to see if members are still interested.

Kudos to ten years of amazing work.  We are looking to brighter times ahead when this invaluable program can be resurrected.