Kingston Rotary Centennial Projects
Rotary Facilitator of Alumni Relations (F.A.R.) Project
Launched September 2020
The F.A.R. Project builds on the success of the Pathways to Education (P2E) program, which works in communities across Canada to reduce high school dropout rates in low-income areas. This Kingston Rotary Centennial Project provides and coordinate services for P2E alumni in post secondary studies for 3 days per week for 3 years to include mentoring and support by Rotarian leaders.
Pathways to Education offers tutoring, group and career mentoring, transit and lunch vouchers, and one-on-one support to enrolled secondary students. Alumni in the first graduating cohort in Kingston in 2014 wanted to continue their education at the post-secondary level, however, 70% of those who did register had dropped out early on. In response, P2E Kingston secured temporary funding for a counsellor (F.A.R.) for 1 day per week to identify and help alumni address difficulties. The intervention increased post-secondary retention rate to Ontario standards or higher.
The transition to a post secondary environment can be extremely difficult in the face of parental inexperience, indifference, and even hostility. The F.A.R. Project ensures that Pathways alumni have the supports in place to navigate what can be a complicated process of multiple applications, grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships, course selection, school policies, transportation, and part time work.
Rotary Centennial Butterfly Garden
Launched September 2020
The Rotary Centennial Butterfly Garden at Rotary Park in Kingston will provide a space to attract Monarch Butterflies and encourage the butterfly population to increase.
The 156 sq. ft. garden ise located close to the pavilion. It was constructed in September and the planting will take place in the Spring 2021.
Butterflies are important pollinators and impact the whole environment. Their welfare is increasingly compromised by loss of habitat due to deforestation and pesticide use, and changes in climate and weather. Butterfly gardens help us conserve butterflies as well as other native insects and help preserve native plant species.
Loughborough School Greenhouse & Teaching Kitchen Project
Building a greenhouse and teaching kitchen open the opportunity for more students to experience food from seed to plate and focus on food literacy.
This Rotary Centennial project includes building a greenhouse (approx. 30’ x 48’) in the school yard with raised beds, water, and power. It will provide a working indoor garden space for classes from all grades to grow produce for the teaching kitchen and food programs. Extra food will be donated to the local food bank and community centre. The teaching kitchen will be designed within an existing empty classroom to a standard whereby healthy food can be safely prepared for consumption and sale. It will be a space for hands-on cooking and nutrition classes.
Supporting Students at St. Lawrence College
The Kingston Frontenac Rotary Club and the Cataraqui Kingston Rotary Club have been supporting scholarships at St. Lawrence College for a number of years providing opportunities for young people in financial need. This project will see increases of $10,000 to each of two existing scholarships sponsored by these clubs. In addition, the Frontenac Kingston Club has pledged an additional $20,000 toward the new student centre focused on student learning spaces. These efforts by Kingston Rotarians are part of a long-standing practice of promoting learning opportunities for young people.
Supporting Hospice Kingston
Hospice Kingston was established in 1985 and for over 30 years has provided comfort, support, and companionship to people with a life-limiting illness, their caregivers and families, and those who are affected by grief or loss. They offer a variety of services and programs such as In-home Care, Day Wellness, Caregiver Support, and Grief & Bereavement Support. Hospice Kingston and its partners are committed to enhancing healthcare in our community and improving access to end-of-life care by building a Palliative Care Centre of Excellence. The Frontenac Kingston Rotary club, as part of the centennial celebrations, has contributed $100,000 over three years toward this 10-bed Hospice Residence & Palliative Care Centre for Kingston, to help create a place of compassion and care.
Centennial Community Outreach Grants
Kingston and area is home to many small organizations doing terrific work for our community. While these organizations have strong volunteer bases and wonderful commitment to assisting local people in need, they have very limited fundraising capabilities. The Rotary Club of Kingston will host a special Centennial grant awarding ceremony at which we will give out $30,000 in grants to some 15 – 20 deserving organizations. These organizations will complete an application in January and these applications will be reviewed by the Community Outreach Grants committee. Award winners will attend a cheque presentation ceremony at our regular meeting on the last Thursday of the month.
Rotary Centennial SNC (Supporting Newcomers) Project
Rotarians from all four Kingston Rotary Clubs and both local Rotaract Clubs have joined together to support Newcomers to our community to continue the Rotary tradition of fellowship and vocational development.
Working closely with KEYS Job Centre, which provides Kingston and communities in Eastern Ontario with a variety of dynamic employment programs and services, Rotarians are linking with Newcomers for three distinct programs: 1) Professional Intercultural Collaborations; 2) Fun, Food, and Fellowship networking events; and 3) 1:1 Professional Dialogue.
This project is intended to welcome and support Newcomers, while helping expand the horizons and internationalize the perspectives of Kingstonians in the interests of harmony, fellowship and professional development of all involved.
Rotary Classroom at Reg Shadbolt Learning Centre
Rotarians have been strong supporters of the Boys and Girls Club in Kingston since its inception. Although not the only Rotarian to support them, Reg Shadbolt, former Director of Education for the Limestone District School Board, has been one of its greatest champions. In honour of his contributions, the Boys and Girls Club established the Reg Shadbolt Learning Centre. The Centennial committee, on behalf of Kingston Rotarians, will donate $20,000 as a further tribute to Reg and as a way to enhance programming at the centre.
Planting 100 Trees
Kingston Rotarians will plant 100 trees in recognition of the first 100 years of Rotary in Kingston and promoting a healthy environment. The trees will be planted in Rotary Park, No. 9 Garden, and at various other locations with community partners.
Developing Cultural Awareness at No. 9 Gardens
No. 9 Gardens, north of the city, is Canada’s first cultural centre for sustainability and reconciliation. The Rotary Club of Cataraqui – Kingston has established as one of its priorities reconciliation and cultural awareness of First Nations peoples. The goals of this project are providing education and skills training in food security, sustainability and reconciliation. In April of 2021, 25 apple trees will be planted at the gardens and the tree planting program will include both First Nation and non-First Nation students working with Focus Forward for Indigenous Youth. In conjunction with our environmental project, we will plant 100 years to commemorate our centennial year.
Restoration of the Fire Pit at Camp Merrywood
Another long-standing partner of the Rotary clubs in Kingston is the local chapter of Easter Seals. Rotarians have been sponsoring students to attend the camp for many years and we are annually involved in the Easter Seals campaign. Easter Seals Camp Merrywood, which opened in 1948, is located on a beautiful peninsula stretching out into Big Rideau Lake. The camp sits on 30 acres of property between Smiths Falls and Perth in Eastern Ontario. The fire pit at the camp has been replaced by a beautiful new, accessible one for all campers and staff to enjoy for many years to come.
Refurbishment of the Waterfront at RKY Camp
The Rotary Clubs of Kingston, along with Kiwanis and the YMCA, founded RKY camp back in 1930. RKY Camp provides traditional overnight summer camp experience and outdoor education each year to over 3,000 children and youth from all over Eastern Ontario. In honour of this 90-year partnership, Rotarians have agreed to enhance the waterfront at the camp by replacing the dock facilities. This will enable campers to enjoy waterfront programs safely.
Rotary International Service
2021 & Beyond!
The Rotary Clubs in Kingston have supported international projects around the world. The photos showcase some of the projects members of our clubs contributed to in a recent visit to Nepal. Here, our clubs, partnering with others have a long history of supporting local initiatives. We built a school in 1998 (and repaired it after the devastating earthquake in 2015), and from the very beginning, provided scholarships allowing the top boy and girl to continue their education as far as they wished. We also contributed to the construction of water harvesting ponds to conserve water and allow farmers to produce food during the dry season, improving nutrition and quality of life. We distributed locally produced water filters to help provide clean drinking water. Additionally, we contributed funds for the purchase of an ambulance for the National Kidney Centre in Kathmandu. This year we are helping develop a fruit and nut tree project to allow local farmers to diversify their crops and produce additional products for market. We also assisted local schools with supplies and financial education.
The work we do in the Rotary Clubs of Kingston is truly international. In the past few years, we have also contributed to projects in such countries as Tanzania, Kenya, India, Guatemala, Uganda, Pakistan, and South Africa. We continue to have an impact in improving the lives of people throughout the world.