The Arc Can Tell You the Way to be Thankful for Friends, Family and Fantastic Thanksgiving Fun!

by jbragg | No Comments

Hello, everyone! I hope that everyone had 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.

I wore my pilgrim hat headband and new Thanksgiving turkey that I love so much. My mom painted my fingernails with golden brown with orange glitter polka dots. My classroom is 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.)

This month, I read Thanksgiving books to my fellow Arc Participants. I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, The Great Turkey Race by Steve Metzger, (Three turkey friends on the farm are competing to be “the chosen one”…until they realize what getting chosen for Thanksgiving means) The Amazing Turkey Rescue also by Steve Metzger, (The Amazing Turkey Rescue follows three courageous Turkeys as they seek to rescue their friend, a chicken, from a fox who is hungry) and Olaf Gives Thanks: a Disney Frozen Thanksgiving Book by Colin Hosten, I chose this book in honor of Thanksgiving Day and the fact that the sequel (named Frozen II) to one of my favorite Disney animated films of all time, Frozen (2013) was coming out on Friday, November 22nd.

On Friday, November 8th, some of the other Arc Participants and I made arts and crafts and wore T-shirts inspired by the children’s television, Sesame Street, to celebrate its fifty-year-old anniversary. I wore my favorite light blue T-shirt that has Sesame Street characters, Elmo, Grover, Big Bird, The Count, and Cookie Monster. My T-shirt says, “On the Street, since 1969.” The other Participants and I learned that Sesame Street is recognized as the first television show for a child that has a mixture of education and entertainment. Sesame Street also provided the first daily introduction to Jim Henson’s Muppets. In 2009, the series celebrated its fortieth anniversary, making it one of the longest-running shows in television history. Sesame Street premiered on November 10th, 1969 and the original series has been televised in one hundred and twenty countries, and more than twenty international versions have been produced. The producers were reportedly “frantic with a naming dilemma for a title.” The producers finally settled on the name that they least disliked: Sesame Street, inspired by a magical phrase from Arabian Nights story, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

I have always loved Sesame Street from the time that I was a tiny girl. Sesame Street has thought me so many things. Also, during my many surgeries, Sesame Street helped me forget about the pain that I was experiencing. My favorite characters on Sesame Street are Elmo and Abby Cadabby. I even took a Christmas picture with them at Seaworld’s Sesame Street’s Bay of Play Playground. Taking the picture with Elmo and Abby is one of my favorite Christmas memories. My mother and I would always attend the Sesame Street Live performances when it would come into our city. 

I even wanted to live with Big Bird when I was six years old. Even now that I’m older, I’m still learning things from Sesame Street. The other Participants are I also learned that Sesame Street has been translated and adapted into a number of international co-productions in other places such as Japan, Egypt, France, Russia, Norway, Germany, and many other countries. All of the other Arc Participants and I especially like learning about the place where the air is sweet and has sunny days, sweeping the clouds away. 

On Friday, November 15th, we had a Classroom Thanksgiving Door Decorating Contest.

The First Place Certificate for the most Flutteringly Funny and Comically Creative Classroom Thanksgiving Door Decorations was Classroom 12. Their decoration theme was, “Happy Turkey Beef Day!” It was a giant turkey holding a cheeseburger with a sign saying: “Happy Turkey Beef Day!” This was my favorite decoration; it made me laugh the most.

The Second Place Certificate for the most Triumphantly Traditional Classroom Thanksgiving Door Decorations was awarded to LEAP Classroom 2. 

Their decoration theme was, “Sweet as Pie.”

The Third Place Certificate for the most Deliciously Delightful Classroom Thanksgiving Door Decorations was awarded to my Classroom 7. Our decoration theme was, “All Hands on Deck for a Happy Thanksgiving!” We also had a giant turkey that was covered with glitter along with handprints of my classmates to look like mini turkeys with multi-colored feathers. I’m so proud of my fellow classmates and our Classroom Staff Members. They put lots of hard work into decorating our classroom door and bringing our scarecrow to life, so to speak.

The Honorable Mention Certificate for the most Radiantly Remarkable Classroom Thanksgiving Door Decorations was awarded to Classroom 1. 

Their decoration theme was, “Picking Thanksgiving Thoughts.”

Also, on Friday, November 15th, we had a Classroom Scarecrow Creation Contest. I read, The Scarecrows’ Wedding by Julia Donaldson. The Scarecrows’ Wedding tells the story of Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay, two scarecrows who are planning for the best wedding the barnyard has ever seen!

Each Classroom went on an outing to a local Goodwill Store to buy supplies for their scarecrows using gift cards purchased with a grant given to The Arc by the Junior League in December 2018. The Arc is massively grateful to the Junior League for helping to further the Participants amusing activities.

The First Place Certificates for the most Creatively Colorful, Festively Funny or Seasonally Silly Classroom Scarecrow Creations was Classrooms 4 and 12. Their decoration theme was, “Mr. and Mrs. Hayfield.” 

The Second Place Certificate for the most Tremendously Terrific Thanksgiving Classroom Scarecrow Creations was awarded to LEAP Classroom 2. Their decoration theme was, “Cousin Itt’s Formal Hair Wear.” This was my favorite scarecrow! It was based on the Addams Family character, Cousin Itt, made out of glittering gold tinsel.

The Third Place Certificate for the most Fabulously Fall or Awesomely Autumn Classroom Scarecrow Creations was awarded to my classroom, number 7. Our decoration theme was, “Hi! My name is Ima Scarecrow!” 

The Honorable Mention Certificate for the most Immensely Ingenious and Unquestionably Unique Classroom Scarecrow Creations was awarded to Classroom 10 (V.I.P.S.) Their decoration theme was, “Tiny is Mighty!”

Special thanks goes to Staff Members, Heather L., (Director of Family Support Services) Laura L., and Elisha L. (CLASS – Community Living Assistance Support Services) Case Managers for being such wonderful Scarecrow and Thanksgiving Classroom Door Decorations contest judges for 2019.

The other Arc Participants and I looked forward to celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday by having a pie social gathering that we had on Wednesday, November 20th and a pre-Thanksgiving Dance on Friday, November 22nd with our friends. My classmate and I chose the music for this event. The other Arc Participants and I and Staff Members would like to thank everyone that donated pies to our annual Pie Social. Thanks to you everyone at both locations of The Arc had a delicious day!

The Arc would also like to thank the Valero Benefit for Children for their donation of $40,000 for the Family Support Services on Friday, November 15th.

The Arc would like to thank the Harvey Najim Foundation for their donation of $55,000 for the Family Support Services Program on Tuesday, November 5th.

The Arc would like to thank the Eagles Flight Advocacy & Outreach for supporting The Arc this Thanksgiving! They have provided Arc families on the CLASS – Community Living Assistance Support Services and the CSCM Community Services Case Management programs with twenty-three Thanksgiving meals on Thursday, November 21st.

The Arc would like to thank the H-E-B Company for sending all of our staff home on the weekend of Saturday, November 23rd with a free turkey. We are so grateful for your support!.

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

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

See you in my next blog!

Tameka

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