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Nifty November

by JPeters | No Comments

TamekaElmoandAbby12-08-2013SundayHello, everyone! I hope that everyone is having a month of November, just like I and the other Arc Participants are having. On Friday, October 24th, The Arc on West Avenue had a grand opening of its very own private library for all of the Participants. I thought this was an excellent idea. Anyone that knows me, knows that I adore reading books. When I was a little girl, my mother used to take me to the library so that I could listen to the story that was featured in “Story Time Reading Session” for that week. To decide what kind of books that would be in The Arc’s Library, each classroom was given a chance to go to a Half Price Book Store to select books and magazines that they thought that the other Arc Participants would enjoy. The Arc’s Library Grand Opening happened just in time for the National Young Readers Week. It is an annual event that was co-founded in 1989 by Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It always takes place the second week of November. This year, the National Young Readers Week will be during Monday, November 10th to Friday, November 14th. All of The Arc Participants and I really appreciate the new edition to The Arc.

On Monday, November 10th, some of The Arc Participants made arts and crafts and wore T-shirts inspired by the children’s television, Sesame Street to celebrate its forty-five year old anniversary. 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 40th 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 magical phrase from “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 thirty-one years old, 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 a many other countries. All of The Arc Participants and I especially like learning about the place where the air is sweet and has sunny days, sweeping the clouds away. Thank you for reading my blog and I wish that everyone has a delicious and a terrific Thanksgiving with their families and friends.

October Happenings

by JPeters | No Comments

Tameka with Snoopy Halloween Shirt, 10-09-2014 ThursdayHi, everyone! I’m so excited that it’s the month of October. My second favorite time of the year to be at The Arc. I love all of the Halloween themed activities and arts and crafts that we do at The Arc during October. With the help of The Arc Staff Members, we carve Jack-o-Lanterns for our Classroom Jack-o-Lantern Contest. Last year, my classroom’s Jack-o-Lantern theme was, “Despicable Mini Minion” inspired by the “Despicable Me” movies. We decorate our classroom door for The Arc’s Halloween Door Designs Contest. This year on Thursday, October 9th, we had our Halloween Classroom Door Decorating Contest. I am very proud to say that my The Honorable Mention Certificate was awarded to my class, The Arc Participants in the Volunteer Involvement Program, also known as “The V.I.P.S.” Our decoration theme was, “Fangs for the Memories” which featured a gigantic face of a vampire. All of The Arc Participants and Staff Members worked really hard and were very proud of our Halloween Door Decorations Creations.

Also, on Thursday, October 16th, the V.I.P. Participants Classrooms from both of The Arc of San Antonio locations, came together in a luncheon held at the Phil Hardberger Park, where the V.I.P. Participants were served by The Arc’s Staff Members to celebrate the third year anniversary. Each V.I.P. Participant received a Certificate of Recognition signed by The Arc’s CEO / President, Mr. Steve E. All of the V.I.P.S. and I are very proud of ourselves and our accomplishments.

To wrap up our Halloween celebrations at The Arc of San Antonio on West Avenue, we have a Halloween Day Dance and Participant and Staff Member Costume Contest that is judged by The Arc Staff Members. The Arc Participants and Staff Members received individualize certificates for our costumes. This year, I’m planning on my Halloween costume to be Queen Titania; Queen of the Fairies from William Shakespeare’s play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Thank you for reading my blog and I hope that you have a great and safe Halloween!

Spectacular September!

by JPeters | No Comments

Flat Stanley and Tameka, 09-15-2014 MondayHi, it’s me, Tameka. The participants and I definitely had a spectacular month of September as you will see.

In recognition of the fact of September is National Apple Month, and the upcoming holiday, Johnny Appleseed Day on Friday, September 26th,we ate apple-themed foods, such as applesauce and apple parfaits, and made apple inspired arts and crafts.

It was a delicious day!

Also, in the month of September, we celebrated upcoming beginning of the Fall season which will be on Tuesday, September 23rd. Some of the participants made Fall Hats and Scarecrow Paper Dolls. We made Fall leaves etchings where they use a crayon to transfer the image of the leaf to a piece of paper and frame it with Popsicle sticks. We also played games of Fall bingo.

It was a fabulous Fall day!

On Tuesday, September 2nd, The other Arc Participants and I ate the West Avenue Location celebrated the 50th birthday of the children’s book character named “Flat” Stanley Lambchop by taking part in the Flat Stanley Project. We learned that The book series about Stanley was written by Jeff Brown in 1964.  The Flat Stanley Project is an educational project started in 1995 by Dale Hubert, a third grade schoolteacher in London, Ontario, Canada. It is meant to make letter-writing skills easier by schoolchildren to each other as they write about where Flat Stanley has gone with them. Students begin by reading the book and becoming familiar with the story. Then they make their own Flat Stanleys (or pictures of the Stanley Lambchop character) and keep a diary for a few days, needing telling about the places and activities in which Flat Stanley is involved. The Flat Stanley and the journal are mailed to other people who are asked to treat the figure as a visiting guest and add to his diary, then return them both after a period of time. Stanley’s story started out with him and his younger brother Arthur being given a big bulletin board by their father to display pictures and posters. He hangs it on the wall over Stanley’s bed. During the night the board falls from the wall, flattening Stanley in his sleep. He survives and makes the best of his different shape, and soon he is entering locked rooms by sliding under the door, and playing with his younger brother by being used as a kite. One special advantage is that Flat Stanley can now visit his friends by being mailed in an envelope.

Stanley even helps catch some art museum thieves by pretending to be a painting on the wall. Eventually, Stanley is tired of being flat and Arthur changes him back to his proper shape using a bicycle pump. The Arc Participants and I thought that it was really fun to take pictures of Flat Stanley and showing how great of a place The Arc is to attend. I remember when I was in third grade, my classmates and I participated in The Flat Stanley Project. I had gotten to see how people live all around the world. I am very happy that my friends at The Arc had a chance to experience seeing people and things that we share with the world.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I’ll be back next month with the highlights of Halloween activities. I can’t wait to celebrate Halloween. It is my favorite holiday season next to Christmas and Fiesta. Also, I decided what my Halloween costume is going to be. I am going to be Queen Titania; Queen of the Fairies! Look up William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” See you then!

Amazing August

by JPeters | No Comments

Tameka at Talent Show 08-22-2014 FridayI had a very busy and amazing month of August. It was time for The Arc’s Summer Talent Show. On Friday, August 22nd, we had our Eleventh Annual Talent Show, hosted by The Arc’s Staff Member, Benny D. I love when it’s time for our Talent Show at The Arc of San Antonio. There was lots of singing and dancing. I wore my special purple glittery “Press” member hat and my mom painted my fingernails to match it. Also, with the help of my classmate, I made a necklace out of an used CD and rhinestones. Since I feel like I can’t be in the Talent Show because of my Cerebral Palsy and my speech difficulties, I decided to participate in another way. I make the award certificates for the other Arc Participants. I like a choosing special clipart for this 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 create the acceptance letters for the Arc Participants that are chosen to be in the Talent Show.  I create the Talent Show program that will be 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 doing all of these Talent Show papers since 2008.

I would like to give a special thank to The Arc Participants and Staff Members in the LEAP Classroom, Classroom 1, and Classroom 7 for making such entertaining Talent Show Decorations for this year’s Talent Show Theme, “The Arc’s Super Stars Shine!”

Also, on Friday, August 22nd, we were treated to a special gift of a visit from the San Antonio Spurs’ Mascot, The Coyote! San Antonio’s favorite basketball-themed mascot came to The Arc to celebrate the fact that the San Antonio Spurs are the 2014 NBA Champions. Some of the Arc Staff Members and other Participants and I wore our favorite San Antonio Spurs team jerseys and shirts. The Arc Staff Members and Participants would like to thank the  San Antonio Spurs for making everyone’s day, a spectacular Spurs day!  So that was our amazing month of August at The Arc of San Antonio. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I hope that you have a good day.

Joyful July

by JPeters | No Comments

Hi, it’s me, Tameka. The other Arc Participants and I had a joyful month of July at The Arc.

On Friday, June 27th, a few Participants from the West Avenue and Wurzbach Road locations had the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the KSAT 12 Television Studios and watch the “News at Noon.” Through a generous donation from the Roses and Races Fund Raiser by The Arc’s friends at San Antonio’s ABC Channel, KSAT 12 News. The Arc Staff Members, the other Participants and I would like to thank everyone at the KSAT 12 News Station.

On Wednesday, July 2nd, we celebrated America’s Independence Day by dressing in red, white, and blue clothing. I wore my Patriotic Star-Spangled Atennas. 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.

The month of July is the National Wheelchair Beautification Month.  On Friday, July 11th, The other Arc Participants and I that are in wheelchairs and walkers decided to decorate our chairs and walkers to have a parade to celebrate the month. I decorated my electric wheelchair with purple feathers and flower pictures. We learned that the National Wheelchair Beautification Month was founded by Horace Knowles. He thought that it was a great idea to allow people to be able to decorate our wheelchairs and the other Arc Participants and I agree. Special thanks to all of The Arc Staff Members for their work preparing for this year’s Wheelchair Parade.

Also on Friday, July 11th, some of the other Arc Participants celebrated 7-Eleven® Day by their own Slurpee Cups Arts and Crafts. The other Participants and I learned that this year 7-Eleven® celebrated its official 87th birthday. company milestones. 7-Eleven® the first convenience store began its run in 1927 in Dallas, Texas, by a Southland Ice Company employee, John Jefferson Green. We also learned that 7-Eleven®’s first return to San Antonio since 1989. In 1946, 7-Eleven® was named to show the stores’ new and extended hours: 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. seven days a week.  We were in 7-11th heaven on that day.

Now it’s what I think is the best time of July. I get to go on vacation to one of my favorite places in the whole wide world, Camp C.A.M.P. (Children’s Association for Maximum Potential) Camp C.A.M.P is a wonderful place for people that have special needs and disabilities that aren’t able to go to a traditional summer camp. We do so many great things during the week at Camp. For example, we go canoeing, swimming, (I float around in an inner tube) and make arts and crafts projects. Camp C.A.M.P. provides a place where I feel like I’m not the only person in the world with a disability. Also, the best part of getting to go to Camp is that sometimes I get to go with some of my friends from The Arc.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I’ll be back next month with the highlights of August and The Arc’s Life Enrichment Program’s Eleventh Annual Summer Talent Show, hosted by Arc Staff Member, Benny D. on Friday, August 22nd in The Arc’s Gym.

Joyful June

by JPeters | No Comments

tameka blog picHi, it’s me Tameka.  The other Arc Participants and I had a wonderful start to the summer season. To celebrate the upcoming start of the season of summer on Monday, June 2nd, we made summertime inspired arts and crafts, such as “Happy Sunshine  Plates.”

Also, The Arc of San Antonio celebrates its 60th anniversary this month. Founded on June 25th, 1954 by parents who wanted to create a network of support and services for children with special needs. Throughout history, The Arc has responded to the changing needs in our community by developing programs and partnerships that address the most critical issues facing people living with physical / developmental disabilities. Today, The Arc offers one of the largest programs of services for children and adults with a wide range of developmental / physical abilities. They help over 300 children and adults with disabilities each day.

I love coming to The Arc because everyone makes me feel excepted and respected. I have a great job The Arc’s Newsletter Editor in Chief and Blogger and I get to be with all of of my friends everyday. The Arc of San Antonio has two locations at 13430 West Avenue and 6530 Wurzbach Road.

In the week before Father’s Day which was on Sunday, June 15th, the Participants made arts and crafts gifts and Father’s Day cards with the help of The Arc Staff Members to give to the special men in their lives. I helped my friends choose Father’s Day poems.

On Thursday, May 22nd, The Participants in the classroom that I am in, The Arc’s Volunteer Involvement Program, also known as The V.I.P.S., planted perennial fruits and vegetables in The Arc’s Playground because the approaching month of June is Perennial Gardening Month. With the guidance of a Volunteer Instructor from the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas named Rachel H. We planted asparagus, basil, onions, and tomatoes seeds. The V.I.P. Participants can’t wait to see what grows from our hard work.

So, that was the start of my summer season. I can tell that the rest of the summer season is going to be awesome, especially since the San Antonio Spurs are the 2014 NBA Champions! Go Spurs!

An Absolutely Festive April

by JPeters | No Comments

tameka fiestaHi, 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 Friday, April 11th, the Case Managers and Administrative Staff Members that work in the upstairs offices at The Arc had a Fiesta decoration contest. My friends and I were the Fiesta Office Decoration Judges.

My friends and I are very happy to say that the First Place Certificate was awarded to Case Managers, Edna T., Jill K., Laura L., and Liz P. Their decoration theme was, “The Merry Mariachis and the Delighted Dancers.” My favorite of thing was their blow up cactus with a Mariachi’s mustache.

The Second Place Certificate was awarded to Class Program Case Managers, Ms. Kim F., Ms. Jane S., and Mr. Steven G. Their decoration theme was, “Filled with Fiesta Fun!” I especially liked their Fiesta flags that were hanging from the ceiling.

The Third Place Certificate was awarded to Case Managers, Ms. Celsa A. and Ms. Sheila H. Their decoration theme was, “Las mujeres misteriosas con Fiesta Flores en el pelo,” or “The Mysterious Women with Fiesta Flowers in their Hair.” They were the very beautiful that day. The Honorable Mention Certificate was awarded to Development/Communications Coordinator, Ms. Joanna P. Her decoration theme was, “Joining in the Fiesta!” Her sombrero fit her just right.

All of the Case Managers and Administrative Staff Members had a great time celebrating the Fiesta season and decorating their work areas.

On Friday, April 25th, The Arc had a Classroom Fiesta Door Decorating Contest. The First Place Certificate winners were The Arc Participants in Classroom 10, The V.I.P.S. This is my classroom and our decoration theme was, “Taco ’bout a Great Class!” We made different paper tacos with everybody’s names on them. I helped decorated the lettering that go went on our door.

The Second Place Certificate winners were Classroom 7.
The Third Place Certificate winners were Classroom 9.
The winners of the Honorable Mention Certificate Classroom Fiesta Float Building Contest was, Classroom 2.

On Friday, April 25th, The other Arc Participants and I and the Staff Members decided that they would commemorate the Fiesta celebrations by gathering in The Arc’s Gym and watching the “Battle of Flowers” Parade on the website of San Antonio’s local ABC channel, KSAT 12 with our friends. My friends ate nachos and chalupas. We also listened to      Mariachi music, had fun hitting piñatas, and dressing up in Fiesta clothing.   I wore my new Fiesta shirt, Fiesta Medal (that I got from The Arc to help in The Arc’s Fund Raiser) and my purple Fiesta Flower Halo. Also, The Arc had a Classroom Fiesta Float Building Contest. The First Place Certificate winners of the Classroom Fiesta Float Building Contest was, Classroom 1.

Also, The Arc had a Classroom Fiesta Float Building Contest.
The First Place Certificate winners of the Classroom Fiesta Float Building Contest was, Classroom 1.

Everyone at The Arc had a wonderfully festive Fiesta day!

Magical March

by JPeters | No Comments

tameka greenHi. I hope that everyone that reads my blog is having a magical month of March so far.  March is my favorite month of all because we do so many different Saint Patrick’s Day themed arts and
crafts projects and my birthday is at the end of the month. On Friday, March 7th, The Arc Staff Members and Participants (including The Arc’s Wurzbach Road Location V.I.P. Participants) had a barbecue to celebrate the start of the spring season. I enjoyed seeing all of my friends from the Arc of San Antonio / Pam Stephens’ Center. The other Arc Participants and Arc Staff Members would like to thank Arc Staff Members, Eddie P. and Edward L. for grilling up all of those delicious hamburgers and hot dogs.

For National Irish American Heritage Month, The Arc had a Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration on Monday, March 17th, where some of the Participants and Staff Members wore green clothing and read stories about the country of Ireland and leprechauns and their pots of gold. I wore my shamrock antennas and painted my fingernails neon green and gold. Also, I took pictures of my fellow Arc Participants and Staff Members for the March 2014 edition of The Arc’s Newsletter. I love celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day at The Arc, it’s so much fun!

On Tuesday, March 4th, we made colorful masks and wore gold, purple, and green necklaces to celebrate this year’s Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, Louisiana.  I liked watching all of my friends make unique Mardi Gras masks that fit their personalities. We had a grand time having our own Mardi Gras festivities.

tameka hawaiin On Wednesday, March 12th, we had a “Aloha, Arc!” which we wore our favorite Hawaiian shirts to celebrate the upcoming National Week of The Ocean Festival Sea-son on Thursday, March 13th. I wore my uncle’s old Hawaiian shirt and my favorite rainbow colored lei. Also, the other Participants and I learned that the Hawaiian word for cool is: ‘Olu’olu. Everyone at The Arc had a very ‘Olu’olu Hawaiian day. So, that was what it was like this month at The Arc. I hope that everyone will have an amazing month of April. I can’t wait for Fiesta!

 

Fabulous February

by betharc | No Comments

1623663_10202607257077036_1277372091_nHi everyone! The month of February was incredible at The Arc of San Antonio. The Arc Staff Members, the other Participants and I would like to congratulate Arc Staff Member, Ms. Brooke K. (The Arc’s Director of Child Care) on the birth of her beautiful seven pounds and ten ounces baby girl named Olivia Anne on Sunday, February 2nd. We welcome baby Olivia into our Arc family with open arms and hearts. Read More →

A Joyful Season It Was…

by betharc | No Comments

Christmas 2013Every year, an USAA employee will buy a Participant a holiday gift that he or she has wished for. I asked for the book, “Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stoh. The other Arc Participants and I are so thankful to the company of USAA, its employees and Santa Claus for making the holiday season, very jolly. Even Santa Claus took time away from getting ready at the North Pole to attend the party. Santa had a slice of his favorite kind of pizza–candy cane and pepperoni.  Read More →

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