“A Fabulous and Fantastic February for All Participants!”
Hi, everybody! I hope that you are having a fabulous month of February.
During the month, we learned that the 2018 Olympic Winter Games are an ongoing international multi-sport event held in the county of Pyeongchang, South Korea, which runs from on Friday, February 9th to Sunday, February 25th. The Participants watched portions of the Olympic Games on their classroom computers and Apple televisions and at: www.nbcolympics.com and made their own Olympic inspired arts and crafts, such as: Laurel Leaf Crowns, Olympic Torches, Paper Snowboarder Launchers, Olympic Rings Banners. The Participants had a victorious month celebrating the Winter Olympics.
On Monday, February 2nd, The Arc Staff Members, the other Arc Participants and I wore our favorite NFL jerseys. I was so proud of my home state team: The Carolina Panthers for making it to the Super Bowl last year that I wore my “I bleed black, blue, and silver! Go Carolina!” T-shirt.
On Wednesday, February 7 , The Arc of San Antonio (at the West Avenue location) had a celebratory award ceremony to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of The Arc’s Life Enrichment Program. Each Participant received an award certificate and a Hawaiian lei necklace to memorialize the number of years that they have been attending The Arc’s Life Enrichment Program. Participants that have been in the Life Enrichment Program under five years received a green lei necklace. Six to ten years Participants received a blue lei necklace and the Participants that have been in the Life Enrichment Program over sixteen years received a purple lei necklace. I received a blue lei because I have been at The Arc of San Antonio twelve years in 2006.
The other Participants and I learned the history of the Life Enrichment Program from Arc Staff Member, Ms. Pam S. (The Arc’s Family Support Service Coordinator) congratulatory speech that in 1997, The Arc of San Antonio was approached by local residential providers that needed programs and services for the individuals in their group homes. Their only choices were the Unicorn Center day habitation / work program or the Good Will Stores because they were the only day habitation not owned by other local residential providers. After many months of deliberation, The Arc of San Antonio Board Members and Staff Members dedicated to open a day habitation / life enrichment program to the general public. In February 1998, The Arc of San Antonio opened its Life Enrichment Program, offering an array of services in San Antonio. The program upheld The Arc’s mission to enrich the quality of the lives of individuals with physical and other developmental disabilities.
Arc Staff Member, Ms. Pam S. also said that, “The biggest achievement was when a strategic planning goal focused on the Life Enrichment Program and developing a wide array of opportunities that enhanced the lives of all the participants in the program. As a result of that goal the following opportunities became a reality … VIP’s, curriculum specialist, director over both locations, nursing staff, buses that provided more outings for all!”
Arc Staff Member, Ms. Jennifer T. (Administrative Director of Adult Day Services) said that, “This upcoming year we are focusing on increased outing opportunities for all participants. We had been doing one outing per month for all participants and now we are up to two outings per month and will continue to increase. Our goal is to have all classrooms attend one outing per week, therefore four outings per month by June 2018. Go Team!”
Arc Staff Member, Mr. Brian L. (Associate Director Day Services at the West Avenue location) said that, “I think that the Life Enrichment Program has done a great job expanding over the years with regards to increasing enrollment to serve more Participants while still keeping safety, community access and classroom training at a high level.”
Arc Staff Member, Mr. Michael B. (The Arc’s C.E.O. and President) said that, “The greatest achievement of the Life Enrichment Program is this twentieth anniversary itself. The Arc of San Antonio provides a safe, enriching and caring environment for our Participants who have physical and developmental disabilities. Here we can help them grow, learn and be themselves without judgment. The Life Enrichment Program also supports their family members by providing them time to work and do whatever they need to do while their family member benefits by their time with us and with their fellow Participants. It’s a win-win for everyone and a great program for this community.”
We had a splendid day celebrating the achievements gained in The Arc of San Antonio’s Life Enrichment Program.
On Tuesday, February 13th, some of The Arc Participants and Staff Members wore gold, purple, and green necklaces to celebrate this year’s Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, Louisiana and the fact that the city of New Orleans is also celebrating their 300th (tricentennial) anniversary. (With the help of You Tube) I read, Three Little Cajun Pigs by Mike Artell and a novelization Walt Disney’s 2009 animated film named The Princess and the Frog. A story about an African-American young girl named Tiana and her adventure after being turned into a frog by a magical mishap during the Mardi Gras celebration. I love The Princess and the Frog movie. I think that its one of the best Disney’s animated movies of all time!
Also, the Participants made colorful masks, crowns and tambourine arts and crafts. I loved making my Mardi Gras mask and necklace; I added rhinestones to my mask to it extra unique.
During the month of February, the other Participants and I made Valentine’s Day inspired arts and crafts such as, Valentine’s Day “Love Bug Card Box” Arts and Crafts.
On Wednesday, February 14th, we had our annual Valentine’s Day Dance, hosted by my friend and classmate, Arc Press Club Participant, Samantha M. where some of the Participants wore red and pink clothing. clothing. I wore my Valentine’s Day red rose shaped necklace and my purple colored heart shaped antennas that bopped around when I move my head. Also, Also, my mom painted my fingernails red with pink and silver hearts. Arc Press Club Participant, Samantha M. and Arc V.I.P. Participant, Patrick T. were chosen to be this year’s Valentine’s Day Dance King and Queen of Hearts.
I want to give a special acknowledgement to Arc Staff Member, Regina F. (A Life Enrichment Instructor) for making such wonderful and beautiful sashes, crowns the queens scepter for the King and Queen of Hearts.
Also, my special thanks goes to the V.I.P. and Press Club Participants, who helped to decorate The Arc’s Gym. Mr. Brian L. (The Arc’s Assistant Director of Day Services at the West Avenue Location) for helping with getting decoration supplies and helping to ensure that the dance was a fun success.
On Friday, February 16th, some of the other Arc Participants and I celebrated the fact that the year of 2018 is The Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac. We made Chinese lanterns, Chinese New Year Dog Good Luck Charms and other arts and crafts to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year that started on Friday, February 16th. (With the help of You Tube) I read, Ten Mice for Tet by Pegi Deitz Shea and Cynthia Weill and The Year of the Dog by Oliver Chin.
Also, the Participants celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the Walt Disney animated film named Mulan by making arts and crafts featuring the character. Mulan is a 1998 American animated musical action comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation for Walt Disney Pictures. It is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, and was Disney’s thirty-sixth animated feature. The film’s plot takes place during the Han dynasty, where Fa Mulan, daughter of aged warrior Fa Zhou, impersonates a man to take her father’s place during a general conscription to counter a Hun invasion. I think that Mulan is so courageous, smart and loving that she totally deserves the title, even though she is not from royal descent.
The Participants had a great time celebrating the Year of the Dog.
One of the most responsibilities of my classroom, “The Arc’s Press Club” is to read to the other Participants. So, I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, Love, Ruby Valentine by Laurie Friedman and The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll to my fellow Arc Participants.
On Monday, February 19th, some of the other Arc Participants and I wore our western clothing to celebrate the start of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and The Arc’s “Rootin’ Tootin’ Western Wear Day.” with the help of you Tube, I read the books, Bubba the Cowboy Prince and Armadilly Chili by Helen Ketteman to my fellow Participants.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope that you and your family had a fabulous February like I had.