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The Arc’s Summer Jamborees, Fantastic Gifts for Dad, Superior Superheroines and a Majestic Musical Icon!

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“The Arc’s Summer Jamborees, Fantastic Gifts for Dad, Superior Superheroines and a Majestic Musical Icon!”

 Hi, everyone! I hope that everybody is having a spectacular start to their summer vacation as we did at The Arc. The Arc Participants had a great start to this year’s summer because they began swimming in the pool at The Arc of San Antonio / The Pam Stephens’ Center on Wurzbach Road.  Since 2011, every week in the summer season, a certain group of Participants are taken to The Arc’s pool, so they can have fun in the San Antonio Summer sun. I love seeing my friends having fun swimming around in The Arc’s pool.

In the week before Father’s Day which was on Sunday, June 16th, I helped my friends make Father’s Day cards and gifts with the help of The Arc Staff Members to give to the special men in their lives. Also, The Arc had a Father’s Day barbecue on Friday, June 14th for the Participants and their parents and guardians. I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, The Berenstain Bears: We Love Our Dad! by Stan, Jan, and Mike Berenstain and How to Surprise a Dad by Jean Reagan.

During the week of Monday, June 17th, some of the Participants and I made summer inspired arts and crafts such as Finger-Painted Beach Ball Paper Plate Arts and Crafts to celebrate the start of the summer season on that day. I read, Arthur’s Family Vacation by Marc Brown, Pete the Cat at the Beach by James Dean, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation! by Stan and Jan Berenstain and Froggy Goes to Camp by Jonathan London. During the week of Monday, June 17th, The Arc Participants and Staff Members had a Summer Inspired Classroom Door Decorating Contest. 

This month is a big deal for me and other fans of the Japanese animated television shows, Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal. Sailor Moon is a 1992 Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation. The Japanese comic book of the same name is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year.  To celebrate this fact, I asked my mom to paint a golden crescent moon on my forehead and I wore one of my favorite T-shirt with my favorite superheroine of all time; Sailor Moon.  Usagi Tsukino (pronounced: ooh-saw-gee, sue-key-no) / Sailor Moon is a fictional superheroine who is also the protagonist and titular character in the Sailor Moon manga (pronounced: mung-ga) Japanese comic book series written by Naoko Takeuchi. She is introduced in chapter #1, “Usagi – Sailor Moon”, originally published in Japan’s Nakayoshi manga on December 28th, 1992, as a carefree schoolgirl (born on June 30th) who can transform into Sailor Moon, the de facto leader of the Sailor Guardians (a group of superheroines that are sworn to protect Earth that each individual has a planetary name and power, as Sailor Mars, etc.) She is initially believed to be an Earthling, but is later revealed to be the reincarnated princess of the moon kingdom named the Silver Millennium. She later discovers her original birth name, Princess Serenity. In the Sailor Moon manga and anime (Japanese animation) series, Usagi meets Luna, a talking black cat with a crescent shaped moon birth mark on her forehead (the golden crescent moon, was worn by all of the people in the Moon Kingdom’s royal family or associates) who is a devoted servant to Princess Serenity and advisor to her mother in her previous life, Queen Serenity. When the moon kingdom falls, she and another white cat advisor named Artemis are put into a long sleep and sent down to Earth to look after the Sailor Guardians, who are to be reborn there. Part of Luna’s memory becomes suppressed, so that she must find the Sailor Guardians. She first encounters Usagi Tsukino and teaches her to become Sailor Moon, unaware that it is actually the reincarnated Princess Serenity. Luna also provides the Guardians with many of their special items, such as transformation wands. Luna discovers that Usagi is destined to save Earth from the forces of evil and gives her a brooch to transform into Sailor Moon, and asks her to form the Sailor Guardians, find their princess and protect the Legendary Silver Crystal. The Silver Crystal possesses tremendous power, capable of reviving an entire world from ruin, but the strain of using such power often costs the user her life – as the power actually derives from the life force of the Moon Dynasty, the members of which alone can actually use it. As Usagi matures, she becomes one of the universe’s powerful warriors and protects her adopted home planet, Earth, from villains who wish to harm it. Usagi is depicted as carefree and cheerful when at ease but quickly serious and strategic-minded when fighting.

A Sailor Moon fan is called a “Moonie.” I fell in love with the Sailor Moon animated series back in 1995 when I was living in North Carolina. I have the dolls, books, movies, posters, practically anything about Sailor Moon. In 2014, the rest of the world’s Moonies and I were ecstatic when we learned that Japan was releasing an internet animation adaptation of the manga series of Sailor Moon written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi and produced in commemoration of the original series’ twentieth anniversary. Produced by Toei Animation, the series was streamed worldwide from July 5th, 2014 to July 18th, 2015. New episodes were released twice a month. Instead of remaking the 1992–97 anime series preceding it, Toei produced Sailor Moon Crystal as a reboot of Sailor Moon and as a more faithful adaptation of the manga by omitting much of the original material from the first anime. The first episode had an advanced screening on June 30th, 2014 to celebrate Usagi’s birthday.

 Most Western audiences were introduced to Usagi appearing in the Sailor Moon anime, itself an adaptation of the manga series. Sailor Moon’s critical reception has been largely positive and she is recognized as one of the most important and popular superheroines of all time.

 To end my blog for June 2019, I would like to let everyone read the poem that I wrote for The Arc’s sixth Talent Show (in August 2009) to honor the late pop singer, Michael Jackson. This year will mark the tenth anniversary on Tuesday, June 25th of Michael Jackson’s tragic passing.  I have been a huge fan of Michael Jackson since I was an itty-bitty little girl and I felt compelled to write the poem to show my love for one of the most famous singers on Earth. All Hail the King of Pop: A Tribute to Michael Jackson.

 In 1958 in Gary, Indiana, you were born the seventh child to Katherine and Joseph. You came and changed our world, just like in the movies. In 1969, when you were young, you were the cutest part of the Jackson 5. You and your brothers taught us that ABC was as easy as 1,2,3, and you told us “Just call my name and I’ll be there.” Later on, in 1972, you told us about your friend by the name of Ben.  In 1978, you eased on down the road with Dorothy (Diana Ross) as the scarecrow in the movie, The Wiz. In 1979, When you started living off the wall, you made all the pretty young things want to rock with you, all night.  In 1982, you and the moonwalk became a thriller to millions of people. You were the first African-American to be shown on MTV with a glowing sidewalk and everything! You were so cool that in 1984, President Regan declared you to be an American role model. You set the highest record for a pop star, and to this day, no one can beat it. When 1985 came, you wanted to do more with your fame and fortune. You wanted to heal the world and end hunger. And so, you and that one glove co-wrote with Paul McCarthy a song for forty-five artists and raised forty-four million dollars. In 1987, you proved that you weren’t just bad; you were also a smooth criminal. After that, it didn’t matter whether the man in the mirror was black or white, we just can’t stop loving you. Do you remember the time in 1991 that you taught Michael Jordan how to jam? I do. You rocked my world with that video and many others. Even though, because of human nature, on June 25th, 2009, your fans sit around with their heads hanging down, wondering why did you go, and leave our world so cold and saying he’s gone too soon. Something whispers in our ears and says he’s not alone. He is with the souls that have passed on before him and they welcome him with open arms. Even though you are far away; your music is here to stay and you are always in my heart.

 Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope that everyone will have a sensational summer. To all of my fellow Moonies in the world always remember that the moonlight is the message of love!

Mothers Know Best that in a Galaxy, Far, Far, Away, Love and Laughter will Prevailed!

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“Mothers Know Best that in a Galaxy, Far, Far, Away, Love and Laughter will Prevailed!”

Hi, everybody! I hope that you had a fabulous month of May. I dedicate this month’s blog to my mother that’s always there for me, and to all the mothers of the world.

On Friday, April 5th,  The Arc’s Staff Member,  Michelle P., (Life Enrichment Instructor) received the third annual “Excellence in Caregiving Award” at Morgan’s Wonderland presented by the Gordon Hartman Family Foundation. This is the third year in a row that an Arc Staff Member has been chosen for this award. 

Arc Parents, Ms.  Sanjuanita C. and Ms. Michelle G. wrote in the nomination letter, “Michelle is a caregiver at The Arc of San Antonio, whose care and dedication for ‘my kiddos’ as she refers to them, goes unsurpassed.  Michelle gets up at 4:30 a.m. to catch two Via busses to get to 281 and Bitters; then walks a mile to arrive at   The Arc by 7:00  a.m. rain or shine she’s always punctual. Her attendance is perfect except for when she was in the hospital, and even then, she called into The Arc to check on ‘her kiddos’ from the hospital bed. Her amazing dedication for ‘her kiddos’ in her classroom gives me great peace of mind.  There are times when we go pick up my child and they don’t want to leave!  She helps those who are afraid to go to school and soon enough they are comfortable enough to look forward to going to school.  She helps out in every way she can and I am grateful knowing that I can go to work and my child is in good hands with Michelle.”

 For the thirteen years that I have been attending The Arc of San Antonio, there has been a few Arc Staff Members that have truly touch my heart, and Michelle is definitely one of them. She is the type of person who sees a person’s spirit, instead of their disability. Michelle saw my true self and she treats me as a regular person. I will always love Michelle for that. She is such a wonderfully funny person to be around. Michelle makes The Arc even more welcoming and I hope that she will continue to work here for a very long time.

 Everyone at The Arc of San Antonio truly believe that Michelle is the laughter and joy that makes The Arc feel so welcoming and they treasure her presence every day.                                     

Special thanks goes to Ms. Jaime J. (Program Manager of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation) and Ms. Becky T. (Assistant to Mr. Gordon Hartman and The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation Administrator) for providing the information for this article to be written.

On Wednesday, May 1st, the other Arc Participants and I and Staff Members celebrated the eightieth anniversary of the creation of the DC comic book superhero character named Batman. We learned that Batman was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 on May 1st, 1939. We also learned about the Justice League film.  It features the DC Comics characters, Batman and Superman. Directed by Zack Snyder and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is a follow-up to 2016’s Man of Steel and is the fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe.

I have always been a Batman fan, since I was a little girl. I think that I ended up liking the character of Batman was partly because of the late singer, Prince was one of my favorite singers and he adored wearing the color purple like I do.

On Friday, May 3rd, the other Arc Participants and I and Staff Members commemorated Intergalactic Star Wars Day.  May 4th is considered to be a holiday by the Star Wars fans to celebrate Star Wars culture, books, and films, which started in 1977 directed by George Lucas. The date of May 4th has been chosen by fans around the world to correspond to the Jedi motto “May the Force be with you. The phrase used to wish luck or good will, generally when individuals parted ways or the object of the expression was facing some sort of challenge. We also learned that film is described as a space western. The film is centered on a young Han Solo and his adventures with his Wookiee partner Chewbacca, including their encounter with Lando Calrissian. I read, the 5-Minute Star Wars Stories: Yoda and The Count by Brooke Dworkin, Stéphane Roux, Trey King, Calliope Glass, Andy Schmidt, and Elizabeth Schaefer.

 On Saturday, May 4th, The Arc of San Antonio’s “Roses & Races” derby themed Gala Fundraiser was held at The La Cantera Resort and Spa to help raise funds for children and adults with special needs. This single event is the largest fundraiser for The Arc of       San Antonio. One of KSAT 12 Channel’s News Meteorologist, Ms. Sarah Spivey was the Mistress of Ceremonies. The Arc is also excited to announce that the presenting sponsor was once again The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation. Mr. Gordon Hartman (Philanthropist and Creator and Owner of Morgan’s Wonderland) presented The Arc with a $25,000 donation. Arc V.I.P. Participant and 2018 Special Olympic gold medal winner, Shaun D. gave the invocation prayer to start the dinner.

The Arc of San Antonio is proud to continue its tradition of honoring people who make a significant impact in the San Antonio community. This award is named for the Hartman family, known for their dedication to serving our special needs community This year, The Arc honors Mrs. Barbara B. Gentry for her amazing support                  

The Arc, our friends with special needs, and the San Antonio community at large.

A true Instrument of Social Change, Barbara selflessly and unceasingly gives of time, talent, and treasure. She is a voice, a champion, for all those underserved in their community and The Arc of San Antonio is proud to recognize her as their 2019 Hartman Humanitarian Award Recipient. The Participants and Staff Members are very thankful to all those who attended and donated to The Arc. This year’s “Roses and Races” Gala successfully raised $206,337.88!

During the week of Monday, May 6th to Friday, May 10th, the other Participants and I made Mother’s Day arts and crafts to give the special women in their lives. I read, The Night Before Mother’s Day by Natasha Wing, Does A Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle and A Pinkalicious Mother’s Day Surprise by Victoria Kann.

My mom and I decided that we would to go to the ice-skating show, Disney on Ice presents: Mickey’s Search Party as a mother / daughter Mother’s Day outing. Disney on Ice combines the incredible talents of world-class ice skaters and heartwarming Disney stories, lavish costumes, dazzling lighting and enchanting music to create an extraordinary show for families around the world. Each year, a new production of Disney on Ice is created to bring favorite Disney characters to families around the world. My mom and I really enjoy going the ice skating every year as our family tradition. We get to bond over which Disney characters and princesses are our favorites.

On Thursday, May 23rd, some of the Arc Participants and I and the Staff Members wore red clothes or handmade red noses to support the Red Nose Day Campaign and Charity. I wore an all red outfit and my mom decorated my nose with red make up because the rubber noses won’t stay on. I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, I chose to read Seeing Red by Robert Munsch. A funny story about friends Alex and Arie who both envy the color of the other’s hair. A series of hilarious practical jokes start.

The Red Nose Day is a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh. The money raised for the Red Nose Day Fund in 2019 will go to charities working on the ground to deliver the basic needs of kids living in poverty. People across the country will come together to have fun and raise funds and awareness.

In the first four years of its creation, the Red Nose Day Campaign has raised over $100 million, impacting more than 8.3 million children in America and around the world. The Red Nose Day Campaign returned to the NBC Channel on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019. Leading up to the star-studded night of programming, celebrations for Red Nose Day engage millions of Americans across the country.

If you would like to have more information on The Red Nose Campaign, please feel free to go to: www.rednoseday.org

I am so very thankful to have my mom in my life. I love her so much!

For the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend,  I read the book, Memorial Day Surprise by Theresa Golding.

I hope that you and your family had a great Mother’s Day and a wonderful start to your summer season and may the force be with you.

A Wacky, Amusing Month of April’s Egg-cellent Easter Crafts and Fantastic Fiesta Celebrations!

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“A Wacky, Amusing Month of April’s Egg-cellent Easter Crafts and Fantastic Fiesta Celebrations!”

 Hi, everyone! I hope that everyone has a fabulous time at this year’s Fiesta; I sure did! In North Carolina, we didn’t have anything like Fiesta. So, Fiesta is my favorite time of year (until Halloween comes.)

 On Monday, April 1st, some of The Arc Participants and Staff Members wore their craziest and silliest outfits to celebrate April Fools’ Day. I wore my rainbow–colored wig, pink sequence light up Easter Bunny ears and a purple and green striped shirt with polka-dot pants and a mix matched pair of shoes.

During the week of Monday, April 15th to Thursday, April 18th, some Participants also made “Bunny Shaped Easter Baskets” Arts and Crafts to acknowledge the upcoming Easter holiday. I wore my new rainbow-colored Easter Bunny ears and my mom decorated my wheelchair tray with a multicolored feather boa. For the Easter and April Fools holidays, I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, I chose to read Clifford’s Happy Easter by Norman Bridwell, How to Catch the Easter Bunny by Adam Wallace, Happy Easter, Curious George by Margret and H.A. Rey, Arthur’s April Fool by Marc Brown and April Fool! Watch Out at School! by Diane deGroat.

 For the Fiesta celebrations, I wore my new purple iridescent Fiesta medal sash, made by my mom. I read Mañana, Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul, The Three Little Tamales by Eric A. Kimmel and Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin. This was my favorite book to read during this year’s Fiesta celebration because it was extremely funny and made the other Arc Participants and I laugh greatly.

 On Friday, April 12th, The Arc had a Classroom Fiesta Door Decorating Contest. Our door theme was “The Easter Bunny’s Piñata Party.” As The Arc’s Newsletter Editor-in-Chief, with the help of my fellow Press Club Participants classmates and the Volunteer Involvement Program Participants, I took pictures to put in the April 2019 Newsletter edition. On Wednesday, April 17th, The Arc had a Classroom Fiesta Float Building Contest gathering in The Arc’s Gym. My classroom’s Fiesta float was about the San Antonio Spurs basketball team and Coyote mascot. Also I watched the Easter TV special, It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! by Charles M. Schultz. Being a big Peanuts comic strip fan, this is my favorite Easter TV special to watch. While most of the Peanuts gang is busy getting ready for Easter, Linus futilely tries to convince them that it’s all a waste of time, and that the “Easter Beagle” will take care of everything. Only Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally, believes him, although she remains skeptical after their Great Pumpkin misadventure on Halloween.

Peppermint Patty and Marcie attempt to color Easter eggs, but as it is Marcie’s first time, she does not know how. Their first attempt fails as Marcie fries the eggs on a griddle. The second attempt fails when she tries cooking more eggs on a waffle iron (for 4 of the eggs), then in a toaster (for 1 of them), and baking the rest of them (the same egg she tries toasting and the remaining 7) in the oven. In the third and final attempt, Peppermint Patty spends the last of her money on another carton of eggs, and in so doing explains to Marcie that the eggs are to be boiled, but instead of putting them in shells-and-all, Marcie puts the eggs into the pot of water (without the shells) resulting in egg soup. At the end of that attempt, Peppermint Patty is out of money and she and Marcie end up with no colored eggs (and cannot make any more attempts).

Woodstock wakes up shivering in his nest after a cold spring rain. He goes for help to Snoopy, who buys him a birdhouse. At first Woodstock hates it, but soon makes it over into a bachelor pad, complete with television, contemporary artwork, a sunken bed, modern furniture, and a quadrophonic stereo system. Curious to see more of the inside, Snoopy gets his nose stuck in the entry hole and accidentally shatters the birdhouse, and so he buys Woodstock another house.

Much to Schroeder’s chagrin, Lucy believes that Easter is the “gift-getting season”, so she decides to have her own private Easter egg hunt, painting and then hiding the eggs herself to find them on Easter morning. But unbeknownst to her, Snoopy follows close behind and snatches up each one of the eggs. Easter morning arrives, and so does the Easter Beagle, tossing eggs to everyone including Woodstock in his new birdhouse, to Lucy (whose hand Snoopy furtively shakes), and even Peppermint Patty and Marcie. But by the time he gets to Charlie Brown, Snoopy has run out of eggs, and he gives Charlie Brown an embarrassed smile.

Peppermint Patty instructs Marcie to put salt on her egg and eat it (after telling Marcie that you eat the eggs after you have received them), which she does without removing the shell. After the Easter Beagle’s visit, Sally becomes a believer, but Lucy quickly realizes that the Easter Beagle gave her one of her own eggs; she is still brooding about it ten weeks later, and Linus suggests that she go and talk about it with Snoopy. She visits Snoopy’s doghouse to pick a fight, but Snoopy takes the fight out of her with a disarming kiss on the cheek.  

The Arc Participants and Staff Members decided that on Friday, April 26th, we would commemorate the Fiesta celebrations by gathering in The Arc’s Gym in “The Taste of The Arc” Fiesta Food Tasting Booths with our friends. The other Participants and I listened to songs from the late singer, Selena and Mariachi music, had fun hitting piñatas, and dressing up in Fiesta clothing. My mom painted my fingernails purple with multi-colored confetti glitter nail polish and I wore my favorite purple Fiesta shirt, my 2019 new Fiesta Medals (that I got from The Arc, McDonald’s, University Hospital and H.E.B.) and my Fiesta mini purple bejeweled (by my mom) sombrero headband. I have seven Arc Fiesta medals so far, and I hope to collect more in the future.

 Also, some of the other Arc Participants and I and the Staff Members decided that they would commemorate the Fiesta celebrations by watching the “Battle of Flowers” Parade on the website of San Antonio’s local ABC channel, KSAT 12 with our friends. I love watching the Fiesta parades on tv. It is the only place where you can see princesses, duchesses and queens wear crowns and cowboy boots.  My favorite parade is the Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade. I love all of the lights and costumes. Everyone at The Arc had a wonderfully festive Fiesta day!

 So, that was my wacky, astoundingly amazing month of April events at The Arc. I had such a great time celebrating Fiesta with The Arc Staff Members and my friends. I hope that you had a fabulously festive month of April, like I had!

 Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and Viva Fiesta!

Having a Marvelous Mardi Gras While Looking for Leprechauns and Finding Birthday Wishes!

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“Having a Marvelous Mardi Gras While Looking for Leprechauns and Finding Birthday Wishes!”

Hi, it’s me, Tameka. I use a communicator, and I have Cerebral Palsy. I’m going to be your guide into the very busy world of The Arc’s Participants. The other Participants and I definitely had a magical and mystical month of March.

March is one of my favorite months to be at The Arc. We have so many things to be happy about and to celebrate. I especially have a very special date to celebrate, my birthday!

On Monday, March 4th, the other Arc Participants and I and the Staff Members celebrated what would have been the 115th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel also known as Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss published forty-six children’s books, which were often characterized by imaginative characters, and rhyme. His most celebrated books include the bestselling books: Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Since I was a little girl, my favorite Dr. Seuss book is, Horton Hears a Who! This book teaches the lesson that “a person is a person no matter how small.” Also, as a writer, I looked up to Dr. Seuss. His books are continuing to educate children into the future.

On Tuesday, March 5th, we wore gold, purple, and green necklaces to celebrate this year’s Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. Also, the other Participants and I made colorful masks, crowns and tambourine arts and crafts. I wore my brand-new Mardi Gras colored hair bow to celebrate the occasion. We had a grand time having their own Mardi Gras festivities. (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 it is one of the best Disney’s animated movies of all time!

For National Irish American Heritage Month, we had a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration and a start of the season of spring dance on Friday, March 15th, where some of the other Participants and I and Staff Members wore green clothing, made arts and crafts projects such as, Shamrock Mobiles and read stories about the country of Ireland and leprechauns and their pots of gold. During the week of Monday, March 11th to Friday, March 15th, we built leprechaun trapping boxes in celebration of the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day weekend. Even though we didn’t catch any leprechauns, the other Participants and I enjoyed the chocolate coins that the little tricky elves left behind.

For the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day holiday, I use my communication device to read, (with the help of You Tube) How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace, Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman, (in this book, the greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the luck in Ireland and the whole country has fallen into despair. Through clever charades, Fiona outwits the Leprechaun King and restores luck to the land.) That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting and How to Trap a Leprechaun by Sue Fliess to my fellow Participants.

I wore my “Pot ‘o Gold” Saint Patrick’s Day shirt, my shamrock shaped antennas that swung around when I move my head and my new green headband that has the word “BOSS” in gold letters (in honor of the month of March being Women’s History Month,) Also, my mom painted my fingernails neon green with gold glitter and my tray on my electric wheelchair was decorated with a green feathered boa.

I love celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day because it’s officially two weeks before my birthday!

The Arc and I would like to let everyone know that “The Arc Fiesta 2019” Medals are being sold now for our annual Fund Raiser. This year, “The Arc Fiesta 2019” Medals were designed by Arc Staff Member, Elizabeth T.

Each Medal is available in The Arc’s Main Office at both locations. You can also visit: https://www.arc-sa.org/2019fiestamedals/ to order. The medals are $5.00 each.

If you would like to purchase an Arc 2019 Fiesta Medal, please feel free to contact Ms. Mary Alice M. (The Arc’s Receptionist / Administrative Assistant at the West Avenue Location) by telephone at: (210) 490-4300, extension 100 or e-mail at: mmartinez@arc-sa.org and Ms. Rose S. (The Arc’s Receptionist / Administrative Assistant at the Wurzbach Road Location) by telephone at: (210) 490-4300, extension 200 by e-mail at: rsalinas@arc-sa.org

All proceeds will go towards The Arc’s Fund Raiser. I love The Arc’s 2019 Fiesta Medal! I can’t wait for Fiesta!

So, that was the magical and mystical month of March for The Arc Participants.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope that everyone that reads my blog will have a great ending to the month of March as I will!

I will be celebrating my birthday!

I’ll see you then!

Good Luck turns into Fantastically Festive Feats in February!

by jbragg | No Comments

“Good Luck turns into Fantastically Festive Feats in February!”

Hi, everybody! I hope that you are had a fabulous month of February, just like the other Arc Participants and me. February is one of my favorite months to be at The Arc. We have so many things to be happy about and to celebrate.

On Friday, February 1st, The Arc Staff Members, the other Arc Participants andI wore our favorite NFL jerseys to celebrate Super Bowl LIII. I wore my “I bleed black, blue, and silver! Go Carolina!” T-shirt. I read the books, The Berenstain Bears Play Football! by Stan and Jan Berenstain and Dino-Football by Lisa Wheeler.

Also, on Friday, February 1st, some of The Arc Participants celebrated the upcoming Groundhog Day by learning about the history of Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog from Pennsylvania and making Punxsutawney Phil Arts and Crafts. I read the books, Go to Sleep, Groundhog! Punxsutawney Phyllis by Susanna Leonard Hill. This book tells the story of Phyllis Groundhog. Unlike the other groundhogs, Phyllis likes to play in the cold river in spring, bake in the hot sun in the summer, and play in the snow in winter. This year spring is coming early, and Phyllis can feel it. But she can’t convince her Uncle Phil to get out of bed to make his prediction on Groundhog Day. I think that this book is a great girl power story as well.

On Tuesday, February 5th, some of the other Arc Participants and I celebrated the fact that the year of 2019 is The Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac. I could not wait to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Pig, because that is the year that I was born into. I read the books, Ten Mice for Tet by Pegi Deitz Shea and Cynthia Weill, Ruby’s Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee, Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine and a book about one of my favorite Disney Princesses in Mulan’s Lunar New Year by Natasha Yim. We made Chinese lanterns, Chinese New Year Pig Good Luck Charms and other arts and crafts to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year that started on Tuesday, February 5th.

The Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived at his party. Pig was late because he overslept. Another story says that a wolf destroyed his house. He had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When he arrived, he was the last one and could only take twelfth place. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well. We had a great time celebrating the Year of the Pig.

On Friday, February 8th, 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, The Three Little Javelinas and Cindy Ellen, A Wild Western Cinderella by Susan Lowell to my fellow Participants.

I love the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo! The rodeo is definitely my favorite part of the month of February. Every year, my mom and I go to the rodeo fair grounds to enjoy the beautiful lights on the rides and the food. My favorite foods at the rodeo are the hot dogs and the funnel cakes. This year, a generous rodeo employee gave me a stuffed animal of my favorite My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic character named Pinkie Pie. My mom and I had a wondrous evening at the rodeo.

On Thursday, February 14th, we had our annual Valentine’s Day dance, where some of the Participants wore red and pink clothing. clothing. I wore my Valentine’s Day candy shaped light up 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 and decorated my wheelchair with red Valentines Day ec. Arc Participants, Diana and Joey D. were chosen to be this year’s Valentine’s Day Dance King and Queen of Hearts.

I want to give a special acknowledgement to The Arc Staff Member, Diana L. (A Life Enrichment Instructor) for making such wonderful and beautiful sashes for the King and Queen of Hearts. Also, special thanks goes to the Press Club Participants, who helped to decorate The Arc’s Gym and Mrs. Berni K. (Associate Director of Curriculum) for helping with getting decoration supplies and helping to ensure that the dance was a fun success.

I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, I Love You Too by Ziggy Marley, The Night Before Valentine’s Day by Natasha Wing and Pinkalicious: Pink of Hearts by Victoria Kann to my fellow Arc Participants.

So, that was my fabulous month of February events at The Arc. I had such a great time celebrating with The Arc Staff Members and my friends. I hope that you had a fabulous February like I had. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

January Jubilees, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too!

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“January Jubilees, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too!”

 Happy New Year, 2019, everyone! Hi, it’s me, Tameka. I hope that everyone had a nifty New Year’s Eve celebration! My mom and I watched The Twilight Zone marathon on the Syfy Channel. This is my favorite New Year’s Eve tradition to share with my mom. I wore my “Happy New Year’s” new purple star tiara and purple feather boa and New Year glasses.

My favorite episode is named, “It’s a Good Life.” a six-year-old boy named Anthony has psychic powers and everyone in the town has to think “good thoughts” or Anthony will banish them to a cornfield.

Later, my mom and I watched the annual Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve TV special. The best part of my New Year’s Eve celebration was that I had the chance to watch fireworks that were set off by other people in my neighborhood through our window with my mom.

On Thursday, January 3rd, some of the other Arc Participants and I also made New Year’s Arts and Crafts such as, 2019 Party Hats and Noise Makers. Also, I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport and Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller to my fellow Participants. I’m truly a bookworm and I am so thankful for my purple communication device because allows me to read even more books to my fellow Participants as part of my Arc Press Club duties.

On Tuesday January 22nd, the other Participants and I learned about the life and legacy late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We watched the video, Our Friend, Martin.

It is a 1999 animated children’s educational film about the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American civil rights movement. Two friends travel through time, meeting Dr. King at several points during his life. It featured an all-star voice cast and was nominated for an Emmy award in 1999 for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming More Than One Hour). Also, the Participants decorated a bulletin board dedicated to the Reverend’s “I have a Dream” speech with their ideas of what the word “peace” means to us. The word “peace” means to me that someone accepts another person no matter of what they look, sound like or whatever they believe in. My hope for the future is that the people of the world will make Dr. King’s dream into a reality no matter of the shortsightedness believes of our world leaders. I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Guiding Beliefs (as told by his niece) by Angela Farris Watkins, and I am Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer.

The other Arc Participants and I celebrated “Winnie the Pooh” Day (January 18th) on Friday, January 18th and the birth of one of the most famous children’s writers of all time, and the creator of the “hunny”-loving golden-brown bear, Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne. On January 18th, 1882, the British author was born. To celebrate the day, we read Winnie the Pooh books and made Winnie the Pooh inspired arts and crafts, such as Winnie the Pooh Masks and Paper Bag Puppets. I wore my new purple Pooh and Tigger shirt, which I received as a Christmas gift. I have always loved Winnie the Pooh and Tigger from the time that I was a little girl. I remember being very small, waking up on Saturday morning, eating Chocolate Rice Krispies and watching The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh TV show. I even had a plush Tigger toy when I was a baby. I read the books, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, (which includes the first meeting of Tigger and Pooh) Pooh’s Honey Adventure and Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Patch by the Disney Book Group. I loved picking up out these books to share my love of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger with everyone at The Arc.

The first collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926, and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. Milne named the character Winnie-the-Pooh after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, character Christopher Robin. Christopher’s toys also lent their who was the basis for the names to most of the other characters, except for Owl, Rabbit, and Gopher (added in the Disney version.) Christopher Robin’s toy bear is now on display at the Main Branch of the New York Public Library in New York City.

Christopher Milne had named his toy bear after Winnie, a Canadian black bear which he often saw at London Zoo, and “Pooh,” a swan they had met while on vacation. The bear cub was purchased from a hunter for $20 by Canadian Lieutenant Harry Colebourn in White River, Ontario, Canada, while in route to England during the First World War. He named the bear “Winnie” after his adopted hometown in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In 1961, A.A. Milne’s widow, Daphne Milne, also licensed certain rights, including motion picture rights, to Disney. Since 1966, Disney has released numerous animated productions starring Winnie the Pooh and related characters.

To celebrate the anniversary of the publication of Winnie the Pooh, the Disney Junior Channel had a special episode of their show, Doc McStuffins. The series is about an African-American girl who can talk to and “fix” toys, with help from her toy friends. Doc McStuffins and her toy friends will meet Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods.

Doc McStuffins is my favorite television show for little ones. She teaches medical information on a level that small children can understand.

The other Participants and I also learned about the 2018 American fantasy comedy-drama film named Christopher Robin directed by Marc Forster and written by Alex Ross Perry, Tom McCarthy, and Allison Schroeder. In the film, Christopher Robin is leaving for boarding school, so his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood – Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, and Rabbit – throw a goodbye party. Christopher comforts Pooh and tells him that he will never forget him. Christopher goes to boarding school, after which he grows up, meets and marries architect Evelyn, with whom he has daughter Madeline. He serves in the British Army during World War II. After the war, he works as an efficiency expert at Winslow Luggages. When Pooh awakens and is unable to find his friends, he decides to travel through Christopher’s door and finds himself in London. He reunites with Christopher, who is shocked to see Pooh, but takes him back to his London home.

We had a great time celebrating A.A. Milne and his creation of Winnie the Pooh.

So, that was the joyous month of January at The Arc!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I’ll be back next time with my moments of the fabulous month of February!

 

Season’s Greetings with Santa!

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“Season’s Greetings with Santa!”

 Hi, it’s me, Tameka.  This is my favorite time of the year to attend The Arc! I love all of the Classroom holiday activities and celebrations. I love making all of the certificates that will be awarded to The Arc’s classrooms during the holiday decoration contests. I read my favorite holiday books to my fellow Arc Participants with my communication device, Secret Santa by Margaret McNamara, The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever by Steven Kroll, Santa’s New Suit by Laura Rader and 12 Little Elves Visit Texas by Jess Smart Smiley.

On Friday, November 30th, we had a Holiday Classroom Gingerbread Creations Contest.

The First Place Certificate for the most Scrumptiously Smart and Deliciously Delightful gingerbread creation was awarded to Classroom 10 (The Arc’s V.I.P. Participants.)

Their decoration theme was, “Extreme Makeover: Gingerbread Holiday Edition.”

The Second Place Certificate for the most Majestically Merry and Magical and Spellbindingly Seasonal was awarded to Leap Classroom 1. Their decoration theme was, “The Red Roof Gingerbread Inn.” The Third Place Certificate for the most  Fantastically Funny and Amazingly Amusing awarded to Leap Classroom 2. Their decoration theme was, “Snoopy’s Sleepy Snowy Christmas.”    The Honorable Mention Certificate for the most Jovially Jolly or Creatively Cheerful was awarded to Leap Classroom 3. Their decoration theme was, The Candy Cottage in the Woods.”

Our gingerbread creation theme was, The Sights and Delights of the Holiday Season.” I read the books, Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup and The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst.

Special thanks goes to the Upstairs Arc Staff Members, Tina C., (Family Support Services Coordinator)  Lauren S. (CSCM Case Manager) and Lucy O. (CSCM Case Manager) for being such sensational Holiday Classroom Gingerbread Creations Judges for 2018.                

All of The Arc other Participants, myself and the Staff Members worked really hard and were very proud of their Holiday Gingerbread Creations. 

 On Thursday, December 13th, we had a Holiday Classroom Door Decorating Contest.  The First Place Certificate was awarded to Classroom 5. Their classroom door decoration theme was “Where is Charlie Brown?”  The Second Place Certificate was awarded to Classroom 12. Their class door decoration theme was “Santa’s Reindeer Barn.”  The Third Place Certificate was awarded to Classroom 10 (The Arc’s V.I.P. Participants.) Their class door decoration theme was “Let it Snow. The Honorable Mention Certificate was awarded to Classroom 1. Their class door decoration theme was “Oh, Starry Christmas Tree.”

Our classroom (The Arc’s Press Club) theme was “Merry Grinchmas.” Our classroom door was covered with a giant picture of the Dr. Suess’ character, the Grinch’s  face with a Santa hat and a gift tag, saying, “From the original Grinch. Jim Carey and Bennedict Cummerbatch are not needed!” Our door decoration and the gift tag was my idea. I feel like the newer movies of Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (starring Jim Carey in 2000 and Bennedict Cummerbatch in 2018) are unnecessary.

Special thanks goes to Arc Staff Members, Allison C., (Director of Community Services Case Management) Lauren S., (Community Services Case Manager) and Tina C. (Family Support Services Coordinator) for being such amazing Classroom Holiday Door judges.

 All of The Arc other Participants, myself and the Staff Members worked really hard and were very proud of their Holiday Door Decorations.

On Friday, December 14th, The Arc of San Antonio and the USAA Insurance Company had a holiday party where each Participant received their gift from an USAA employee. This year, I ask for the 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 DVD.  In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Guardians travel throughout the cosmos as they help Peter Quill learn more about his mysterious parentage.

I wore my reindeer antlers that are wrapped up with Christmas bells, my mom painted my nails green with multi-colored glitter so that they would look like Christmas trees, and I wore my red Santa Claus suit sweater that my mother bought as one of my Christmas gifts. Even Santa Claus took time away from getting ready at the North Pole to attend the party.

Every year, an USAA employee will buy a Participant a holiday gift that he or she has wished for. The Arc of San Antonio is so thankful to the company of USAA, its employees and Santa Claus for making the holiday season, very jolly.

To finish out the month, on Wednesday, December 19th, we wore our favorite seasonal sweaters and shirts to celebrate the holiday season. I wore my new green Snoopy shirt (Snoopy is tangled up in Christmas lights) that I loved choosing the holiday music for the dance especially from the Everyone had a gleeful day wearing their holiday apparel.

 I want to thank everyone who has read my blog all year long. I truly appreciate every one of you. You have to shared in my triumphs and I am so happy that you were with me on my journey throughout the year at The Arc. San Antonio’s three-hundredth anniversary year turned out to be great!

So, that was the delightful month of December for The Arc Participants.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

I hope you and your family will have a great and safe holiday season and a nifty New Year celebration.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone and I’ll see you in 2019!

M-I-C-K-E-Y, because The Arc loves Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Thanksgiving!

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“M-I-C-K-E-Y, because The Arc loves Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Thanksgiving!”

Hello, everyone! I hope that everyone is having a nice month of November, just like I and the other Arc Participants are having. The Participants made Thanksgiving inspired arts and crafts, such as, Mayflower Paper Ships, Popsicle Scarecrow faces.

On Friday, November 9th. We had a Thanksgiving Classroom Door Decorating Contest. Our door was decorated as a giant turkey. We titled our door, “Gobbling Up Thanksgiving.”

The other Arc Participants and I looked forward to celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday by having a pie social gathering that we had on Thursday, November 15th and with our friends.

The other Arc Participants and I looked forward to celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday by having a pie social gathering that we had on Thursday, November 15th and with our friends.

This month, I read Thanksgiving books to my fellow Arc Participants. I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Charles M. Schultz, The Very Stuffed Turkey by Katharine Kenah, Thanksgiving is Here by Diane Goode and Duck for Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules.

On Friday, November 16th, some of the other Arc Participants and myself made Mickey Mouse pilgrim hats to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and the 90th anniversary of the creation of the world’s favorite cartoon characters, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

While I was watching the TV special named Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, I found out that from November 4th to the 17th, 2018, people who take a photo showing o their Mickey Mouse ears – or any creative “ears” – and upload it to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. For every public photo posted with #ShareYourEars, Disney will donate US $5 to Make-A-Wish, up to US $2 million to grant even more life-changing wishes. This is all part of the Disney Team of Heroes commitment to deliver comfort and inspiration to families around the world.  I decided that I would post a picture every day (until November 17th) on Facebook of myself wearing my Minnie Mouse ears and Mickey Mouse shirt.

Since 1980, Disney has helped Make-A-Wish grant more than 130,000 wishes – experiences that not only brighten lives but also help wish kids and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

http://wish.org/content/disney/share-your-ears-2018

The Make-a-Wish Foundation holds a special part in my heart. I am so grateful for the Make-a-Wish Foundation because they paid for my mother and me to Disney World in 1993, before I had an extensive series of orthopedic surgeries. Mickey and Minnie Mouse have always been one of my favorite Disney characters ever since I went to Disney World and met them in 1993 and in 2011. 

I read the book, Happy Birthday Mickey by Brooke Vitale. We learned that Mickey and Minnie officially debuted on November 18th, 1928 in Steamboat Willie, one of the first sound cartoons. Mickey went on to appear in over 130 films including, The Band Concert (1935,) Brave Little Tailor (1938,) and Fantasia (1940.) Mickey appeared primarily in short films, but also occasionally in feature-length films. Nine of Mickey’s cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, one of which, Lend a Paw, won the award in 1942. In 1978, Mickey became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Beginning in 1930, Mickey has also been featured extensively as a comic strip character.  Mickey has also appeared in comic books and in television series such as The Mickey Mouse Club, originally airing in 1955 to 1959 and again in 1989 to 1996. Walt Disney got the inspiration for Mickey Mouse from his old pet mouse he used to have on his farm. “Mortimer Mouse” had been Disney’s original name for the character before his wife, Lillian, convinced him to change it, and ultimately Mickey Mouse came to be.  My favorite quote from Walt Disney is, “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my family and all my friends at The Arc.

I hope that everyone and their families who read my monthly blogs will have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Astonishing Accolades and Resplendent October Activities as Princess Rapunzel!

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“Astonishing Accolades and Resplendent October Activities as Princess Rapunzel!”

 Hi, everyone! I’m so excited that it was my second favorite time of the year to be at The Arc (next to the month of December.) I love all of the Halloween themed activities and arts and crafts that we do at The Arc during October. We do so many cool Halloween activities that I have to wait until November 1st to send out the October Newsletter so I can include everything.

On Wednesday, September 26th, the thirty-seventh annual “Achievers of the Year” Banquet was held at Morgan’s Wonderland, America’s first playground for people with disabilities.

 The event was co-hosted by Mr. Adam Caskey, a KSAT 12 Meteorologist and Mr. Gordon Hartman, a philanthropist and the owner and creator of Morgan’s Wonderland. This event was presented by the 

CW 35, San Antonio Fox 29/35 KABB San Antonio and News 4 San Antonio television stations.

 Awards are given to individuals who have accomplished a major goal such as learning to walk or communicate, getting a job in the community, or improving a basic skill.

 I was totally caught off guard when I was chosen to be one of The Arc’s Achievers of the Year! I am used to writing about the other Arc Participants receiving their Achiever of the Year awards; I never thought that I would get one. I was greatly honored to have my award be presented by Mr. Adam C., Mr. Gordon H., and Mr. Michael B. (The Arc’s President and C.E.O.) 

 The following paragraph about myself was written by Arc Staff Member, Mr. Michael B. (The Arc’s President and C.E.O.)  “To The Arc of San Antonio Family:

Tameka Hughes is editor in chief of our monthly internal newsletter. Those who have read it know the quality, the care, the excitement Tameka brings to every issue. To paraphrase her recently, as she accepted The Arc’s 2018 Achiever of the Year award on September 26th, “it’s about the people who make The Arc special.” And so, should every media product be: about the people whose stories need telling. My mom was editor of her high school newspaper…she taught me that, and she reads Tameka’s work every month!

But it’s much more than that with Tameka: it’s her labor of love and caring for everyone here, participants, staff and volunteers. It’s her passion, an expression of her gifts of careful writing, fun layout and graphics, and most importantly, her example that every one of us have special abilities which we need to share with and accept from each other.

So, since I am on deadline (another of Tameka’s gifts is that she never accepts excuses), let me finish by simply saying: On this, the publication of her 100th edition, I extend the congratulations of every member of The Arc family near and far to Tameka for her unceasing commitment to our work, our joy in each other, and to what matters most, the telling of the stories of our lives. You rock, Tameka…more to come at 200!

Mike Bennett, President, Chief Executive Officer & Publisher.”

 Also, on Friday, October 5th, I was presented by Mr. Arc Staff Member: Michael B. (The Arc’s President and C.E.O.) former

(The Arc’s President and C.E.O.) Steve E. and Pam S. a trophy in celebration of the one-hundredth edition of The Arc’s Life Enrichment Program Newsletter! Honestly, if it was not for Mr. Steve, the Newsletter would not exist now. In 2015, after I had emergency gall bladder surgery, I was told by email that it was decided that the Newsletter will no longer be sent to the parents / guardians, but would be read to the classrooms because of budget cuts. I was extremely upset and I was thinking of stopping the Newsletter all together, but

Mr. Steve introduced me to Ms. Andie (The Arc’s Development Director) and found a way to e-mail the Newsletter to the parents / guardians. Mr. Steve  said that the Newsletter was too important to the parents / guardians to be taken away.

 This year, I chose to be Princess Rapunzel from Walt Disney’s computer animated 2010 movie, Tangled.

Loosely based on the German fairy tale “Rapunzel” in the collection of folk tales published by the Brothers Grimm, it is the fiftieth Disney animated feature film. Featuring the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy. The film tells the story of a lost, young princess with magical long blonde hair who yearns to leave her secluded tower. Against her mother’s wishes, she accepts the aid of an intruder to take her out into the world which she has never seen.

In Tangled, a drop of sunlight became a flower capable of healing illness, decay, and injury. For hundreds of years, the flower is used by Mother Gothel to retain her youth, until soldiers from a nearby kingdom, Corona, take the flower to heal their ailing queen. Shortly afterwards, the Queen gives birth to Princess Rapunzel. While attempting to recover the flower, Gothel discovers Rapunzel’s golden hair contains the flower’s healing properties, and that cutting her hair destroys its power. Gothel abducts the baby and raises her as her own daughter in an isolated tower. Once a year, the King and Queen release sky lanterns on Rapunzel’s birthday, hoping for their daughter to see them and return to her awaiting birth parents.

On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Rapunzel requests to leave the tower and discover the source of the lanterns, but Gothel refuses, claiming that the outside world is a dangerous place. Rapunzel then asks for a special paint that will take Gothel three days’ round trip to obtain and return, and Gothel accepts. Meanwhile, a thief called Flynn Rider steals Rapunzel’s crown from the palace and inadvertently discovers the tower after ditching his allies, the Stabbington brothers, during a chase between them and palace guards. Rapunzel captures Flynn then finds and hides the crown, but is unaware of its significance. She convinces a reluctant Flynn to escort her to see the lanterns in exchange for the return of the crown, as a way to prove to Gothel that she can take care of herself in the “dangerous” outside world.

The new age of the Disney Princesses are sure of their selves. They’re very confident and they go after whatever it is that they want. So far, I have been Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989) and Queen Elsa from Frozen (2013), Princess Merida from Walt Disney’s movie, Brave (2012), and most recently Princess Elena from a production of the Disney Television Animation show named Elena of Avalor.

This month, I read Halloween stories to my fellow Arc Participants. I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, BOO! by Robert Munsch, Pumpkin Town! (Or, Nothing Is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins) by Katie McKy, Spookley The Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano, a story about how being different can be very helpful. Spookley the pumpkin wasn’t round- he was…square! A very unique pumpkin delivers a special message of tolerance and self-acceptance. Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown and of course my favorite Halloween book: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schultz.

On Friday, October 12th, The Arc Participants had a Halloween Classroom Door Decorating Contest. My classroom named “The Press Club” (we’re responsible for making the informational flyers that are passed out and sent home with the Participants. Updating the bulletin boards around The Arc. Also, keeping the other classrooms informed about the activities that go on during the week.) I’m very proud to say that our class won the Honorable Mention Certificate! Our door was decorated bats with the words, “We are driving our teachers batty!”

On Friday October 19th, we had an Arc Class Pumpkin Decorating Contest.  Our pumpkin was decorated as a three faced emoji named “Here an Emoji, There an Emoji, Everywhere an Emoji, Emoji!”

Later on, when I was at home with my mom, we watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. My favorite part of the television special is when Linus wakes, Sally furiously yells at him for making her miss the Halloween festivities and she bops him.

To finish up the month of October festivities, the other Arc Participants and I and Staff Members had a delightfully dreadful time at our annual Halloween Dance and Costume Contest on Wednesday, October 31st. I designed the song list of our dance and the individualized Halloween costume certificates for my fellow Participants and Staff Members to win. Even, Ephraim, The Arc’s (on West Avenue) resident slightly spooky ghost had a ghoulishly good time!

So, that was extremely fun and busy with month of October at The Arc of San Antonio!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope that you and your family had a great and safe Halloween!

Fantastic Football Fashions and Fabulous Fall Festivities!

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“Fantastic Football Fashions and Fabulous Fall Festivities!”

 During our 2018 United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County Employee Kick Off our staff worked together with the resources given to them in order to make a sling shot that would slink a pom ball across the room. The activity was great in showcasing that we have to work together as a community with the different resources we have in order to accomplish one goal! #LiveUnitedSA. I’m really proud of all of The Arc Staff Members.

 On Monday, September 10th, The Arc Staff Members, the other Arc Participants and I wore our favorite NFL jerseys to celebrate the start of the 2018 NFL football season and The Arc’s football themed week.  I was so proud of my home state team: the Carolina Panthers for making it to the Super Bowl L (50) in 2016 that I bought a T-shirt to wear to The Arc. My mom decorated my wheelchair with football stickers. I used my new communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, Snoopy’s All Star Football by Charles M. Schulz and Goodnight Football by Michael Dahl.

 Being a part of my classroom named “The Press Club,” my fellow classmates and I read books to the other classrooms at The Arc. I love using my communicator to read audiobooks about the recent or upcoming holidays.

 In the month of September, some of the other Arc Participants and I celebrated the upcoming beginning of the fall season on Saturday, September 22nd. I read the books, Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson, Clifford’s First Autumn by Norman Bridwell, Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak and The Scarecrow’s Wedding by Julia Donaldson. The Participants made Fall Hats and Scarecrow Paper Dolls Arts and Crafts. We made fall leaves etchings where we use a crayon to transfer the image of the leaf to a piece of paper and frame it with Popsicle sticks. The Classrooms got ready for the upcoming fall decoration contest on Thursday, September 13th. I made the certificates and organized the information. My classroom’s fall door decoration was named “We’re Popping into Fall.” Our class door had corn on the cob cut outs with real popcorn glued to them.

 The First Place Certificate for the most Fabulously Fall or Awesomely Autumn Classroom Fall Door Decorations was Classrooms # 11 and 12. Their decoration title was “Meet Mr. and Mrs. Stanley and Sarah Scarecrow!”

 The Second Place Certificate  for the most for the most Tremendously Terrific and Delightfully Dazzling Fall Classroom Door Decorations was awarded to LEAP Classroom # 6.

 Their decoration title was “Welcome to Our Pumpkin Patch.”

 The Third Place Certificate for the most for the most   Creatively Colorful, Festively Funny or Seasonally Silly Classroom Fall Door Decorations was awarded to Classroom # 5.

 Their decoration title was, “Look Who’s Hanging Out in Room 5.”

 The Honorable Mention Certificate for the most for the most Immensely Ingenious and Unquestionably Unique Classroom Fall Door Decorations was awarded to Classroom # 4.

 Their decoration title was, “Fall is Here.”

 Special thanks goes to The Arc Staff Members, Allison C., (Director of CSCM: Community Services Case Management)

Heather L., (Family Support Services) and Andie M. (Director of Development) for being such wonderful Fall Classroom Door Decorations contest judges for 2018.

 To everybody that reads my blog, I truly wished that you’re safe and sound with your family and friends during this troubled time in our world.

 Please remember that every storm has a rainbow at the end of it and I hope that your rainbow will come soon.

 Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope that you have a very fortunate fall season.

 


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