RTOERO District 3 Algoma
Service to Others

Martha Foster, Provincial RTO/ERO President, presents a cheque for $10,000 to David Gooderham of the Sault Search and Rescue at the RTOERO Annual General Meeting in Toronto.

RTOERO proudly operates several annual grants for all its districts to sponsor local community projects and raise the profile of RTOERO. In 2019 a total of $77,813 was allotted in approving 29 submitted applications. Through PSTO, districts may apply for individual projects that support local, national and international programs that often involve children and/or disadvantaged groups, to a maximum of a one-time only grant of $4,000 per project. RTOERO stresses the engagement of members in their given community project application. Each year, one project must be selected and approved by the District 3 Algoma executive, before proceeding to the Provincial Committee.

RTOERO Local District 3 Algoma has successfully submitted projects in the past, including Battle of the Books, Camp McDougall, St John’s After School programme, Vision Screening, Rockhaven School, Tumaini Afrika, Elliot Lake’s Roundabout Exceptional Puppeteers, Days For Girls and this year’s Central Algoma Dementia Resource Libraries. Congratulations CATS (Central Algoma Teacher Support) that will serve Echo Bay, St Joseph Island, Desbarats, Bruce Mines and Thessalon!

The 2020 Application Form has been revised and is available by clicking the link provided.

If you have a special project that District 3 Algoma could consider, please forward a brief summary of the project to First Vice President Kathy Greening at email kgreening@shaw.ca by February 10, 2020. Our executive will meet and consider all applications. 

In anticipation of your project please consider the following points: 

The nature and scope of your proposed project, including how it supports community, volunteerism, children, and/or disadvantaged groups on local, national and/or international levels. Please be specific and focus on one area of a larger project and explain how your project would be impacted by the receipt of this donation. Consider cost projections and timelines, they would be helpful too.

• The RTOERO members involved in the project and the nature of their involvement.

• What partnerships are anticipated?

• A willingness to work with the local executive to fine-tune the final application to RTOERO, should your project be selected by the local executive.

• We encourage all our members to consider applying for this unique financial support by RTOERO

And the winner is….Central Algoma Teacher Supports (CATS)! 

2019-2020’s successful applicant from Algoma District 3 for the RTOERO Service to Others Project Award is the CATS group for their Central Algoma Dementia Resource Library. Some RTO members and other retired teachers in the Central Algoma region formed a group, Central Algoma Teacher Support (CATS), whose volunteer members wanted to focus on the needs of community caregivers and those in need of dementia resources. CATS made phone calls and visits to those who were identified as needing physical, emotional, and social support. It became increasingly evident that their situation could be improved with the addition of some aids, activities, and resources that were readily available to those living in the urban centre of Sault Ste. Marie but not in our rural district. It was decided to create a portable lending resource support library. 

With this Central Algoma Dementia Resource Library, CATS would be providing both emotional comfort and enrichment for individuals who would benefit from more social interaction and activities. They anticipate serving approximately fifty isolated seniors in the area. 

The cheque for $4000 from RTOERO was presented to representatives of the CATS group at our February 25, 2020 general meeting.

Check out the article in the North Channel Current HERE!

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.