SCHIP grant makes senior center more hearing accessible

(The caption in this story has been corrected to identify Susan McDonald as the person who is explaining exercises in the Bone Builders class.)

Thanks to a grant from Shelburne, Charlotte, Hinesburg, Interfaith Projects (SCHIP), the senior center is able to make programs more accessible to people experiencing hearing loss. The mission of SCHIP’s Treasure Resale Shop is to turn life’s discards into hope for organizations in our communities.

With these funds, the senior center purchased new instructor headsets and an improved sound system that has already provided a drastic improvement for the participants. Several of the participants have said they did not realize how much they were missing by not being able to hear the instructor.

The Charlotte Senior Center offers a wide range of activities for active and engaged seniors age 50 and older. Consider spending some time at the senior center, whether it is joining a language conversation group, playing board or card games, participating in an exercise class or going on a birding or kayak trip.

Outdoor activities

Birding trip
Wednesday, July 17, 9 a.m. departure
There is a wide range of birding habitats in Chittenden County. Join avid bird watcher Hank Kaestner and learn to identify the various bird species and habitats right here in Vermont. Group limited to 20 participants. Free. Registration required.

Learn to play pickleball
Saturday, July 20, 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Pickleball allows you to work on your balance, agility, reflexes and hand-eye coordination without putting excessive strains on your body. Pickleball is a wonderful alternative for older players who used to play tennis, but have physical limitations such as hip, shoulder, knee or other joint problems. Bring folding chairs to watch how pickleball is played at the Charlotte Beach pickleball courts. Consider carpooling with friends. You will need a Charlotte Beach season or day pass to park. Afterward, there will be the opportunity to try out pickleball. Wear comfortable clothing and sneakers. Paddles will be provided. Questions? Call or text David at 802-425-4567. Free. Registration required. Rain date is July 27.

Walking, gentle hiking group
Thursday, July 25, 9 a.m.
Enjoy the beauty of nature. Come walk at a gentle pace with other seniors. The group will meet each month for a congenial nonstrenuous walk. Location to be determined based on conditions. Meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at Charlotte Senior Center. Questions? Contact Penny Burman at 916-753-7279. Free. Registration appreciated.

Women’s kayak trips
Second & fourth Friday mornings
These kayak trips are for active women who share a love for exploring Vermont’s many local lakes, ponds and rivers. Trips listed are tentative, dependent on water and weather conditions. To be placed on a master list of paddlers to receive trip information, email Susan Hyde. Free. Registration required.

Community events

July artist exhibit
Tom Wright and Liza Woodruff

Husband and wife, Tom Wright and Liza Woodruff will be exhibiting their artwork at the senior center from July 1-31. Tom is a fine artist creating abstract paintings with mixed media on paper and wood using mythological and psychological imagery. He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and has exhibited in both Boston and Vermont. Liza is a children’s book illustrator and artist. Work in this show will include nature themed silkscreen prints inspired by the Vermont landscape.


Play reading
Thursday, July 18, 1-3:30 p.m.
Join Sue Foley and Wally Gates for table-reading fun. No tryouts, no rehearsals, no critical reviews. The group meets monthly and is for people who enjoy reading plays aloud or listening to others perform. Each month a play is selected, parts are assigned and scripts are distributed. It is suggested that a good way to test the waters is to attend a session as a guest audience. If you have any questions or would like to sit in, please contact Sue. Free. Registration required.

Beginner watercolor workshop
Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
If you’ve always wanted to try watercolor but were too intimidated, this is the class for you. How do you paint our fantastic gray and white Lake Champlain rocks called Iberville Shale? In this workshop you will try a few techniques and you will take home your own painted rock cairn. Class limit 10 students. For more information about Ginny Joyner, check out her website at Cost: $40 plus $6 supply fee. Registration and payment required by July 24. The supply fee is paid directly to the instructor.

Backgammon league
Tuesdays, 6-8:30 p.m.
Backgammon is a tactical table game with a 5,000-year history. The group welcomes players at all levels. If you have questions, email. Cost: $3. No registration required.

Brain games
Fridays, 2-4 p.m.
There are many ways adults can stimulate their brains to increase mental health, improve memory skills and contribute to overall well-being. Research finds that positive interaction with others and engagement in stimulating group activities sharpens cognition and increases memory ability. Join the group to play various games, share laughter and enjoy one another’s company. Some games are available, but also feel free to bring your own games. Free. No registration required.

Creative arts & crafts group
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-noon
Come create, experiment, share ideas, encourage others and have fun with the Creative Arts & Crafts group on Wednesday mornings. Bring whatever creative endeavor you’re working on, enjoy doing, or thinking about trying out—painting, drawing, writing, scrapbooking, coloring, origami, cardmaking, knitting—the opportunities are limitless. Any questions, call Katie Franko at 802-425-6270. Free. No registration required.

German conversation
Tuesdays, 3-4 p.m.
Möchtest du dein Deutsch üben? Come join this group to meet other German speakers and practice your German. No agenda, just a casual conversation. All experience levels are welcome. Questions? Contact Dan York. Free. No registration required.

Photo by Lori York.
Yoga instructor Heidi Kvasnak leads a yoga class at the senior center with the new headset and sound system.
Photo by Lori York
Volunteer Susan McDonald explains the exercises in the Bone Builders class at the senior center.

Pilates fitness
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Join Phyllis Bartling in this pilates class for folks 55 and over. It includes upper-body strength work with hand weights and mat exercises. You will work core muscles to improve balance, strength and posture. Cost: $10 a class. No registration required.

Tuesdays, noon, & Fridays, 12:30 p.m.
Samba is a new version of canasta that has quickly become very popular due to its variety of melds, which keeps the game interesting. If you are curious to learn how to play Samba, call Sandy Armell at 802-425-3248. Free. No registration required.

Shanghai mahjong
Tuesdays, 12:45-3:45 p.m.
New to or experienced in the Shanghai style of mahjong, you are welcome to join this informal get-together. For questions email Nan Mason. Free. No registration required.

Yoga strength-building practice
Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-noon
Join Heidi Kvasnak for an integrative practice that builds strength and stability while maintaining a sense of ease and spaciousness in both body and mind. You will practice longer-held postures that strengthen muscles, bones and core, as well as breath-led flowing movement, including sun salutations. Prerequisite: Must be able to easily get down to and up from the floor with or without props. Cost: $10 a class. No registration required.

Menus are posted on the website at

Monday lunches
Served weekly. Lunch is served 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., or until the food runs out. Suggested lunch donation $5. No registration required.

Weekly Age Well Grab & Go meals
Pick up on Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m., at the Charlotte Senior Center. Registration is required by Monday by 8 a.m. for the Wednesday meal. $5 suggested donation but not required. To register, call 802-425-6345 or email [email protected].

Senior center info:
The senior center offers programs for adults 50 and older from Charlotte and surrounding communities. Priority is given to seniors, but programs are open to adults of all ages. Programs include weekly lunches, daily exercise classes and many opportunities to connect through board and card games and art and language programming. Interested in receiving a weekly reminder about what is happening? Sign up for the email newsletters at The “Week Ahead” email is sent out on Friday mornings with activities, lunch menus and special programs for the upcoming week.

Lori York, director

Tracy Brown, coordinator

212 Ferry Road, Charlotte

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