Painting Fun

Kendyll Rodriguez loves painting and making crafts in her Life Skills class at Northside Elementary. Here she paints a red ornament to go on a decoration to be sold in the annual bazaar. Rodriguez is a fourth grader.

Life Skills students at each of the El Campo ISD campuses are busy making items for their annual bazaar, which has been going on for more than 30 years. This year sales will be strictly online.

“I can remember shopping at the bazaar during my high school years,” Taryn Staff said.

Staff, the fourth and fifth grade special education teacher at Northside Elementary, says her students learn valuable lessons while making items to sell, and money raised helps fund classroom activities.

“The bazaar helps the students in many ways,” Staff said. “The bazaar is our largest fundraiser, raising money to provide our students with field trips, HEB and Walmart shopping trips and rewarding activities. In another aspect, the bazaar teaches the students to work together, count items, creativity skills, fine motor skills, and packaging to list a few. Pre-COVID, our students were able to go up to the Lutheran church on the day of the sale. During this time, the students would work on social skills by greeting the shoppers, helping to bag items, and showing off items made.”

Before the coronavirus, students were able to take field trips to local stores, but that has also changed.

“Pre-COVID, we used the funds to go on monthly field trips ... trips to Mr. Gattis, and buying items from the grocery store to work on following directions and reading recipes. Currently, we are using the funds to cook/bake each Friday.”

Staff also plans to use some of the funds to provide a small Christmas gift for her students, as well as holiday parties and other planned activities.

Life skills students at the Northside campus have “worked on simple painting jobs such as the set of three Christmas trees, stars and ornaments. We also worked on gently sprinkling glitter onto items,” Staff said.

Fourth grader Kendyll Rodriguez enjoys the activities in class, especially making things for the bazaar.

“I liked getting to paint and make pretty items,” Rodriguez said. “It was fun to paint every day.”

“We are making Christmas trees,” fifth grader Ashley Garcia said. “I like to do it because we put stars with glitter on them. I like to paint the trees too. My favorite thing is the trees because they have so many colors.”

Ashton Sanchez, a fourth grader, likes using glitter, too.

“I learned how to put glitter on the wood. It got all on the table and floor. It looked like sparkles everywhere,” Sanchez said.

Items can be purchased online for products made by students in the El Campo High School Step II, ECHS Life Skills, El Campo Middle School, Northside and Hutchins Life Skills classes.

While the first order date has expired, there remains the Dec. 17 pick up date, but you have to place orders by 4 p.m., Dec. 14.

Pick-up will be 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, 1401 Ave. I.

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