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Fantastic Football Fashions, a Good Friday the 13th and Fabulous Fall Festivities!

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“Fantastic Football Fashions, a Good Friday the 13th and Fabulous Fall Festivities!”

Hi, everyone! Here is what we did in the sensational month of September at The Arc. 

On Wednesday, September 4th, The Arc Participants and Staff Members had a Fall / Autumn season Inspired Classroom Door Decorating Contest. 

Special thanks goes to Arc Staff Members, Arc Staff Members, Ginette R., (Associate Director of Day Services at the West Avenue location) 

Melissa F. (Director of Adult Life Enrichment Program) and Mary M. (Arc Volunteer) for being such wonderful Fall / Autumn Classroom Door Decorations contest judges of  2019.

On Thursday, September 5th, some of The Arc Staff Members, the other Arc Participants and I wore our favorite NFL jerseys to celebrate the start of the 2019 NFL’s one-hundredth football season and The Arc’s upcoming 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 Dino-Football by Lisa Wheeler.

On Friday September 13th, I just might have had the first good Friday, the 13th in history! After being dropped off at The Arc this morning, I had to drive my electric wheelchair quietly through a parent / guardian information meeting in the gym. As I am driving towards my classroom, my blog appears on the big screen while they are talking about me! I was so in shock that all I could do is smile and wave. I love The Arc!

 Howard Energy Partners, in their commitment to strengthening the San Antonio community, held their Annual United Way kickoff on Monday, 

September 16th, and invited Ms. Andie M. (The Arc’s Director of Development) to come speak about The Arc and our services. A group of employees came to tour The Arc’s West Avenue location on Tuesday, September 17th. More information about their giving here: https://www.howardenergypartners.com/community 

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 beginning of the fall season on Monday, September 23rd. I read the books, I read the books, Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson, Clifford’s First Autumn by Norman Bridwell and The Scarecrow’s Wedding by Julia Donaldson. 

Also, during the month of September, some of the other Arc Participants and I celebrated the beginning of the National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sunday, September 15th to Tuesday, October 15th,) I read the books, Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales, (a story about Frida Kahlo, one of the world’s most famous and unusual artists is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of History by Naibe Reynoso.  Living in San Antonio, I thought that it was very important to read these books to my friends. For more information about National Hispanic Heritage Month, please feel free to visit: https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov

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.

– Tameka H. 

Lights! Camera! Talent Show! The Astonishing August Acts at The Arc!

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I dedicate this month’s August 2019 blog to the memory of one of my favorite female singers, Aaliyah. (January 16th, 1979 to August 25th, 2001) and my seventeen-year-old dog named Jordan. Heaven’s newest angel.

At their best, they were loved. 

“Lights! Camera! Talent Show! The Astonishing August Acts at The Arc!”

Hi, everybody! 

As a great way to end the summer season, the other Arc Participants were taken on class outings to Morgan’s Wonderland’s new water park named Morgan’s Inspiration Island.  The more than three acre attraction enables family members, regardless of age or ability, to cool off and beat the summer heat by splashing and playing together.

I had a good feeling in my heart in seeing all of my friends enjoying themselves at Morgan’s Inspiration Island!

The Arc love Morgan’s Wonderland and the free access they provide to us Participants. So, The Arc had a fundraiser to cover the admission fees for the amazing Arc Staff Members.

A special thanks to our friends in the Alhambra Alamo Caravan, number 269 for donating $700 for The Arc Staff Members fundraiser on Friday, August 9th.

On Friday, August 23rd, we had our Sixteenth Annual Talent Show, hosted by The Arc’s Staff Members,

Veronica V. and John T. I love when it’s time for our Talent Show at The Arc of San Antonio!  Along with a certificate of completion, each Participant received a mini “Oscar-like”  award statue, donated by a generous benefactor. 

The other Arc Participants and I would to say thank you to Arc Staff Members, Julie L., Linda G., Mellisa K. and Diana L., (Life Enrichment Instructors) my fellow Participants in The Arc’s Press Club Classroom and all of the other Arc Staff Members and Participants for making such entertaining decorations for this year’s Talent Show Academy Awards inspired theme, “The Arc’s Red Carpet Soirée!”   

The other Participants and I would like to thank The Arc Staff Members, Tina C. (Family Support Services Coordinator,) Lauren S. (CSCM Case Manager) and Allison C. (Director of Community Services Case Management) for being such wonderful Talent Show judges. 

I wore my new black “Beat it” Michael Jackson shirt (my favorite male singer of all time) and my purple glittery “Press” member light up hat that my mom bought back as a gift from Las Vegas. My mom painted my fingernails dark purple with gold stars to match my hat. My mom decorated my new fuchsia-colored chair and tray with musical notes stickers and mini multi-colored toy saxophones that I discovered at a local Dollar Tree Store. I read the book, (using YouTube with my communicator) Talent Show by Stan and Jan Berenstain.

Since I feel like I can’t be in the Talent Show because of my Cerebral Palsy and speech difficulties, so I decided to participate in the Talent Show in another way. I make the award certificates for the other Arc Participants. I like choosing special clip art for each Participant. Also, I create the sign-up sheets for The Arc Participants who would like to try out for the Talent Show. This way, the try-outs can be more organized. I also created the acceptance letters for The Arc Participants that are chosen to be in the Talent Show.  

I create the Talent Show program that are given to the parents / guardians that come to the Talent Show. After all of the songs are chosen, I burn them onto one CD so the Talent Show can run smoothly. I have been the official Talent Show organizer since 2008 and I love doing it!

So, that was another successful Talent Show is in The Arc’s history books! I’m so proud of my friends and grateful to the Staff Members to helping to make the great decorations. The other Participants and I can’t wait to do this all again next year!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope that everyone had a great end of your summer!

– Tameka H.

July’s Firework Festivities and Parading with a Purpose at The Arc!

by jbragg | No Comments

Hi, everyone! I hope that everybody is having a jubilant month of July as we did at The Arc as you will see.

On Wednesday, July 3rd, The Arc Participants celebrated America’s Independence Day by dressing in red, white, and blue clothing. We also made Fourth of July inspired arts and crafts, such as, Red, White, and Blue Lanterns Arts and Crafts. Liberty Crowns, American Flag Wind Socks, Patriotic Cookies, and Fourth of July Sunglasses.

I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, Fourth of July Mice! by Bethany Roberts and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Daniel’s First Fireworks by Becky Friedman. 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.

I wore my red and white striped shirt and my patriotic star shaped Star-Spangled ribbon antenna headband. Also, my mom painted my fingernails red polish with blue and white star shaped glitter. Also, my mom decorated my wheelchair tray with a patriotic garland and American flags stickers.

On Wednesday, July 3rd, some of the Participants and Staff Members wore their red, white and blue clothing to celebrate America’s Independence Day and the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing in 1969. 

The other Participants and I learned that on July 20th, 1969, America’s most famous astronauts touched down on the moon after making the three-day trip from the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. Astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins crewed the mission. It was there that Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon, uttered his famous phrase: “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Also, we celebrated the U.S. women’s national soccer team win at the 2019 Women’s World Cup on Sunday, July 7th. The championship match victory in Lyon, France marks both the fourth world title and back-to-back wins for the U.S. women after taking home the trophy in 1991, 1999 and 2015.

We had a wonderful time remembering America’s many accomplishments.

On Thursday, July 4th, my mom and I ate pizza and watched the forty-third Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on the Macy’s Stores website: https://www.macys.com/social/fireworks

I loved watching all the colors of the fireworks that burst into life on the screen.

On Monday, July 22nd, the other Participants in wheelchairs and walkers decided to decorate our chairs and walkers with the help of the Staff Members to have The Arc’s seventh annual “Rolling in Style” Parade to celebrate the fact that the month of July was the National Wheelchair Beautification Month. 

We learned that the National Wheelchair Beautification Month was founded by Mr. Horace Knowles. 

We also learned that the Target Store Corporation is selling Halloween costumes adapted for children with disabilities so every child can participate in the holiday. The retailer unveiled the four inclusive costumes, including two wheelchair cover options, through its Hyde and Eek! Boutique. One of the options offers children in wheelchairs the chance to transform it into a purple princess carriage, while the other covering sees wheelchairs of all sizes turned into a pirate ship, complete with its own pirate flag.

The designs are part of a larger range designed for kids with disabilities.  There are also new options for children with sensory processing difficulties. The plush shark and unicorn costumes include “flat seams and no tags for an ultra-comfy feel,” according to the website. They also feature detachable sections and hidden openings, designed to be less irritating for children with sensory sensitivities. The costumes are currently available for pre-order on Target’s website: www.target.com/b/hyde-and-eek-boutique 

I was so happy when I saw this story on the internet! Growing up with Cerebral Palsy, my mom had to make most of my Halloween costumes. One year, my mom made me a mummy mask to the body cast that I was in after my surgeries. Now, parents who have children with disabilities have a little more help at Halloween time. 

Mr. Horace Knowles thought that it was a great idea to allow people to be able to decorate their wheelchairs and walkers and The Arc Participants agree.

So, that was the jubilant month of July for the other Participants and me. I’ll be back next time with the highlights of the amazing month of August and the highlights of The Arc’s Life Enrichment Program’s Sixteenth Annual Summer Talent Show on Friday, August 23rd in The Arc’s Gym. I am The Arc’s organizer of the Talent Show.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog I hope that you and family had an Incredible Independence Day and a joyous end of the month of July!         

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!

by jbragg | No Comments

“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!

by jbragg | No Comments

“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!

by jbragg | No Comments

“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!


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