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Spring 99 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Cooking Up a Party

By Tamee Argo and Doylene Land, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as Texas Commision for the Blind) , Odessa, Texas
and Lu Cleere, VI Consultant, Region 18 Education Service Center, Midland, Texas

The fourth annual Christmas Party for students in Region 18 and Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as Texas Commision for the Blind) consumers took place December 7, 1998. This party was somewhat different from typical parties because the students were responsible for preparing the evening meal for their parents and other guests. The students were allowed to participate in this activity as a school function instead of going to their afternoon classes. They received instruction in cooking skills, appropriate social interaction, and making decorations.

Student and teacher opening pie filing.Students, teachers of the visually impaired and cooking instructors arrived in the early afternoon. They began by reading the large print and braille recipes, organizing the ingredients, obtaining the right utensils, and putting on their aprons. The boys received cooking instructions and baked twelve pies, three cakes, and dozens of cookies. The girls learned how to prepare fresh tossed salad, spaghetti sauce with meatballs, vegetables, and French bread.

While cakes and pies baked and spaghetti sauce simmered, the students sang Christmas carols, visited with each other, and played games. A bubble gum blowing contest proved to be a sticky situation with bubbles going all over the students' glasses and cheeks. A student who was blind received a hands-on demonstration from another student with low vision about just how large the bubbles were. He would place his hands around the other student's mouth according to the size of the blown bubbles.

The students worked cooperatively moving tables, covering the tables with cloths, and making various decorations. They set up the serving line and served food to the eighty parents and guests in attendance that evening.

 

Boy and girl painting wooden soldiers.The evening's activities included a guest speaker describing her feelings about raising her own child who is visually impaired. Later the younger students joined the older students and siblings in making Christmas arts and crafts to take home.

After the last pumpkin pie was eaten, the students assisted with cleaning the dishes and the building. The students left the party that evening with a holiday spirit, satisfied and proud that they prepared a successful holiday meal for their families and friends.

 


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