Phenomenal February Festivities and Flourishing New Friendships

by jbragg | No Comments

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. 

The Arc would like to thank the Freeman Education Foundation for their donation of $6,849.67 on Wednesday, February 12th. Also, The Arc would like to thank The May and Stanley Smith Charitable for their donation of Trust $100,000 on Tuesday, February 18th for the Family Support Services Program and the Adult Life Enrichment Program.

On Friday, January 23rd, some of the other Arc Participants and I celebrated the fact that the year of 2020 is The Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac. I read the books, Ten Mice for Tet by Pegi Deitz Shea and Cynthia Weill, Ruby’s Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee, 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 Rat Good Luck Charms and other arts and crafts to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year that started on Sunday, January 25th.

On Sunday, January 25th, my mom and I went to a local Tim’s Oriental & Seafood Market Store to watch a Chinese New Year Lion Dance. I had a chance to take a picture with a blue luck lion. It was amazing to watch the dance performance. There were dancers of all ages.  Ever since I was a little girl, I loved all kinds of mythologies, especially Chinese mythology. Reading and learning about mighty and wise dragons allowed my mind to soar to new heights and fall in love with writing fantasy stories. I even have a good luck dragon lantern hanging in my bedroom doorway. 

The Rat is the first 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. The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.

The zodiac sign of the rat represents qualities like intelligent, flexible and vigorous. People born in the Year of the Rat are also believed to be blessed with such qualities. In some Chinese Kung Fu novels, the rat was also personalized in characters with chivalrous spirits. There are also a lot of poems, proverbs, fairy tales themed around the animal, and it has been depicted by artists in traditional Chinese paintings and statues. We had a great time celebrating the Year of the Rat.

On Friday, January 31st, The Arc Staff Members, the other Arc Participants and I wore our favorite NFL jerseys to celebrate Super Bowl LIV. I got a great surprise! It was “Celebrate the Super Bowl” Day at The Arc and everyone was wearing their favorite NFL football team shirts or jerseys. I was wearing my “I bleed blue, black and silver” Carolina Panthers shirt for my home state. To my surprise, Mr. Michael B. (The Arc’s President and C.E.O.) was also wearing a Carolina Panthers T-shirt. We took a picture together as a Carolina Panther cheerleader and a lineman for the Panthers. Everyone and I had a fantastic football themed day! My favorite part of watching this year’s Super Bowl was watching two of favorite singers, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez’s performances.

Also, on Friday, January 31st, 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 by Judy Cox, 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.

In honor of the month of February being Black History Month, I read the book,

A Voice named Aretha by Katheryn Russell-Brown. A Voice named Aretha read-aloud for children is a nonfiction book about Aretha Franklin, her stunning voice and rise from the church choir to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  It’s a great kids’ book for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Music History, or anytime you want to read an inspiring true story about talent, intelligence and perseverance.

On Thursday, February 6th, 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.” I read the books, The Three Little Javelinas and Cindy Ellen, A Wild Western Cinderella by Susan Lowell to my fellow Participants. I wore my mini cowgirl hat and bought my stuffed animal character named Pinkie Pie of my favorite TV show named My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that a generous rodeo employee gave me last year.

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. My mom and I had a wondrous evening at the rodeo.

On Friday, 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 hearts and decorated my wheelchair with red Valentine’s Day decorations. Arc Participants, Nick M. and Tanya D. were chosen to be this year’s Valentine’s Day Dance King and Queen of Hearts. Also, Arc Participants, Robert S. and Jennifer P. were chosen to be this year’s Valentine’s Day Dance Prince and Princess of Hearts. 

During the month of February, The Arc Classrooms decided to decorate their doors for the Valentine’s Day holiday. Our class door decoration was named, “Room 7 Loves You a Latté!” (featuring a giant Starbucks coffee cup.)

I want to give a special acknowledgment to The Arc Staff Members, Diana L. and Lucy Y. (Life Enrichment Instructors) for making such wonderful and beautiful sashes for the King and Queen and Prince and Princess of Hearts. Also, special thanks goes to the Press Club Participants, who helped to decorate The Arc’s Gym and Mrs. Melissa F., the Director of Adult Life Enrichment program for helping with getting decoration supplies and helping to ensure that the dance was a fun success.

On Wednesday, February 19th, I got a visit from Ms. Daisy Bee (the clown that came to entertain The Arc on Thursday, January 9th. It is so nice to have a friendship with her. Ms. Daisy Bee said that I have been a ray of sunshine in her life, but truthfully, I think that we have been rays of sunshine in each other lives. It’s great to make new friendships! 

 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.

 – Tameka


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