Request for ARPA funds for support of Tai Chi Classes

December 1, 2023
To: Newfane Select Board

Request for ARPA funds for support of Tai Chi Classes

Tai Chi exercise is a form of “internal” martial art, used to fend off the stresses of modern life, to maintain agility, balance, and overall health as we age. It emphasizes mindfulness and meditation while helping to slow cognitive decline. The Harvard Medical School has done many studies proving the benefits of Tai Chi in fall prevention, promoting bone density, and relieving low back pain and pain from arthritis and fibromyalgia.

The various councils on aging in Vermont promote and support various forms of Tai Chi, including Sun Short Form, also called Fall Prevention Tai Chi. As such, they provide free training for instructors to be certified by Tai Chi Vermont, Inc, and liability insurance for these instructors who teach free classes at various senior centers in Vermont.

I am currently holding Tai Chi classes in the Williamsville Hall, free of charge for students, under the sponsorship of Senior Solutions. I’ve been teaching the Short Form and am transitioning those students now into learning the Long Form, Sun 73 Tai Chi. I want to start another beginner class of the Fall Prevention Form in January.

For the last couple of winters, I have discontinued classes in the middle of winter, because of the cost and difficulty heating the hall. Steve Levine must walk to the hall the night before, and turn up the thermostat if the room is to be comfortable on class day. He has been given as a gift 2 thermostats that can be controlled remotely from his cell phone, but it requires some additional wiring done to hook them up.

The wiring would require about 4 hours of work at $75 per hour, for a total of $300. In addition, the cost of heating the hall for those extra hours would be an additional $1,000 for propane. I am asking for $1,300 to support Tai Chi classes for the older citizens of Newfane, so they can enjoy good health and wellness in our community.

Jane Douglas
Tai Chi Instructor