At homes for seniors, it’s important for residents to have opportunities for physical and emotional activities, and a sense of connection. Now four area residences will enjoy drum circle programs thanks to a $3,860 grant from District 32 Prescott-Russell of RTOERO (Retired Teachers of Ontario).

The District 32 funding is part of RTOERO’s annual community grants program. Since 1968, RTOERO has been a voice for teachers, school and board administrators, educational support staff and college and university faculty and staff in their retirement.

Each year, districts apply for grants to support community projects. For 2022, RTOERO funded 22 projects for a total of $87,471.

The drum circles are offered by William Laurin, founder of Sound Vibe Circles. Laurin is currently contacting local senior residences within District 32 to book session dates. Participants will engage in 60 minutes of spontaneous drumming together using small djembe drums. For the seniors, it’s all about on-the-spot creativity and developing a connective experience through the different beats and rhythms.

“During the pandemic, seniors living in retirement homes really lacked social activities. Even since COVID restrictions have been lifted, there are fewer people available to plan and lead activities, and fewer available funds. So we wanted to support a fun, stimulating and inclusive activity,” says Caroll Carkner, President, District 32 Prescott-Russell, RTOERO.

Since the inception of the community grants program 22 years ago, RTOERO has donated $1.9 million to more than 525 programs and projects. A committee of RTOERO members assesses the merits of each grants submission.

District 32 Prescott-Russell plays a key role in helping members stay engaged and connected, with each other and the community.

RTOERO has 82,000+ members in 51 districts across Canada, and is the largest national provider of non-profit group health benefits for education retirees.