Berrien RESA holds annual Christmas BazaarPublished 12:42pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012
By WILLIAM CRANDELL, Special to Leader Publications
Berrien RESA will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar Dec. 7 at Blossomland Learning Center in Berrien Springs. The purpose of this event is to raise money for the special needs students that attend the school. Blossomland has been hosting this event longer than any current staff member can remember, but it has been a successful method for raising money. For the residents of Berrien County this is an opportunity to support the special needs community to come out and interact with the students.
Retired staff, previous graduates, friends and family of current and previous students attend the Christmas Bazaar each year. In the past, people have been known to travel to Berrien Springs from all over the state to purchase the items sold there, according to Delynn Williams, a teacher at Blossomland.
“I use the money to help buy supplies for my room, but it also helps me to be able to work with my students in the community for instance, teaching them how to order in restaurants or how to buy personal items, it really helps with learning independent living skills,” Williams said.
Tina Lawson, the principal of Blossomland, said the money helps in the purchase of assistive technology, instructional materials and positive behavior supports. It also helps to pay for transportation yearly field trips to the Patawatomi Zoo and the Niles Apple Festival.
“A lot of our students do not get the opportunity to go to many places because of their individual disabilities, and the money we raise will help to make lasting memories for them and it is an important aspect of their educational experience,” Lawson said.
According to 33-year Berrien RESA employee Tammy Shembarger, one of the greatest benefits of the bazaar has been the interaction with the parents, getting to know them and getting them involved with the school and their child’s education. The bazaar isn’t just about raising money it’s about working together and being a family, she said.
Another goal of the annual bazaar is to generate community awareness, giving the general public a better understanding of the school and the special needs community.
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7. If there is inclement weather, the event will be on Dec. 10. The Christmas Bazaar will feature an assortment of items including crafts, ceramic art, baked goods and ornaments. There will also be raffled items and light lunch options.
Tags: Berrien RESA