Hi, everybody! The month of February has been really fun for me. Cruz V. (a Life Enrichment Instructor) received the Staff Member of the Quarter award for the months of February, March, April, and May. Every four months, this award will be given to any Arc Staff Member that has a positive work attitude, produces a positive environment for his or her classroom, and is a team player for all of his or her co-workers and the Arc Participants.
We were surprised with a visit the Tooth Fairy (an employee from a local dentist office in San Antonio) to teach everyone about taking care of their teeth and to pass out free toothbrushes in honor of February being National Children’s Dental Health Month and National Tooth Fairy Day which was on Thursday, February 28th. We learned that in early Europe, it was a tradition to bury baby teeth that fell out. When a child’s sixth tooth falls out, it is a custom for parents to slip a gift or money from the tooth fairy under the child’s pillow, but to leave the tooth as a reward. Some parents also leave trails of glitter on the floor, representing fairy dust. Also, in northern Europe, there was also a tradition of tann-fé or tooth fee, which was paid when a child lost their first tooth. In Italy, the tooth fairy is also often replaced by a small mouse. The other Arc Participants and I are very happy that the Tooth Fairy came to us.
On Thursday, February 14th, we had our annual Valentine’s Day Dance, hosted by Staff Member Leon S. (I helped pick out the music) where some Participants wore red and pink clothing and made Valentine’s Day inspired arts and crafts. I wore my purple heart shaped antenna and headband. My friend and classmate, Arc V.I.P. Participant, Julian C. and Arc Participant, Cindy M. was chosen to be this year’s Valentine’s Day Dance King and Queen of Hearts. Julian has Cerebral Palsy like me but he can use his hand a little bit better, so he helps me do things that I can’t do by myself. We had a fabulous time dancing and celebrating Valentine’s Day with our friends.
The other Arc Participants and I would like to say thank you to Arc Staff Member, Tiffany V. for making such wonderful sashes for the King and Queen of Hearts.
Also, the Participants and Staff Members at the Arc of San Antonio on West Avenue would like to thank Mr. Doug W. (the father of Arc V.I.P. Participant: Megan W.) and his friends in his musical band for coming on Friday, February 15th, and singing country music songs in honor of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. I wore my mini cowboy hat and jeans.
On Monday, February 11th, the Arc Participants made Chinese lanterns to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year of 2013 (which started on Sunday, February 10th), the Year of the Snake. We learned that the Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year. The Chinese calendar follows a twelve year pattern with each year named after an animal. The story that explains this is that the Jade Emperor invited all of the animals to join him for a New Year celebration, but only twelve animals turned up. To reward the animals that did come, Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived, starting with the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. I learned that I was born into the year of the Pig. Which according to the Chinese animal characteristics are very smart creatures. The other Participants and I had lots of fun discovering what Chinese New Year they were born into.
On Tuesday, February 12th, some of the Arc other Participants and I made colorful masks and wore gold, purple, and green necklaces to celebrate this year’s Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. We also learned that the Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Festivities begin at the beginning of February, leading up to Mardi Gras day, and consist of parades, dancing in the street, costumes and masked balls. The modern Carnival tradition developed in Europe in the middle ages, and is celebrated mainly in Roman Catholic communities in Europe and the Americas today. Some of the most famous celebrations are held in Nice, France, Cologne. Germany, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The other Arc Participants and I had a grand time having their own Mardi Gras festivities.
The month of February was so much fun. Now I’m ready to celebrate everything that happens in the the month of March, including my birthday! Happy February, everybody!