Cresteramics Chatter: Creston program members busy with work, music, art

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Cresteramics Society board member Terry Nowak.

Cresteramics members ended 2014 with a big Christmas party at Trinity United Church hall. This celebration has become a tradition and is possible because of the support received from so many in our community. Thank you to Bev Warner, who has helped prepare the meal for many years. Thank you also to Dianne Yezovich, who crafted beautiful table centerpieces that were shared through the community after the party. Our dedicated staff members did double duty serving the meal, meeting the needs of our members and hosting guests. Thank you to all of them.

This year has started off with the favourite programs and some new ones, too. I would like to give you an idea of some of the activities that happen within our building, at our store and out in the community. Please take a minute to think about how valuable these programs are for our members and the amount of dedication, training and effort it takes for staff to offer these programs.

Within the Cresteramics building, members participate in journaling, sign language courses, current events, Wii games and exercises, scrapbooking, computer use, painting and preparation of ceramics for sale in our store, a Cresteramics newsletter, sit and fit, and karaoke. On Thursdays, high school students attend Cresteramics for a very popular afternoon of singing. On Friday mornings, a pet therapy program happens.

A new art program has just started. It is led by a staff member who has a strong history of education and teaching in the area of creative, explorative art. The timing for this program is perfect because Cresteramics has just been invited to be a partner in the 2015 Creston Valley Bird Fest. This invitation acknowledges the contribution that our members can make to our community. Donations of art supplies, tools and materials would be greatly appreciated.

There are also a number of programs that our members and staff participate in throughout the community. Some of these are considered work programs and others are for education or enjoyment or both. The Creston Valley Public Library is one of our partners and we have two different programs there, one for improving reading skills and the other to help out with chores. Our members attend the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors to help with cooking, baking and decorating chores and to attend the Tai Chi classes. The Community Empowerment Program consists of Cresteramics members producing happy, inspirational notes to be given to customers at local businesses. These supportive businesses are Creative Fix, Cresteramics Store, Kootenay Employment Services, Creston Card and Stationery and Gold ’N’ Treasures. Music is a very popular activity. Music programs are held at Adam Robertson Elementary School and a drumming group practices every Thursday at St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church. This enthusiastic group moves to parks and other community spaces in warmer months. It is supported by volunteers Johanna Wilson and Maureen Cameron, and others they bring along.

Many more activities, including swimming, curling and gym workouts, happen at the Creston and District Community Complex.

Work programs are another group of well-supported and valuable programs for our members. These vary from the ones mentioned already at TAPS and the library, and include recycling, storefront maintenance, courier services and seasonal jobs. Check out Jimmy’s Pub and Kingfisher Used Books for tidy, well cared for storefronts.

The Cresteramics Store is essential to Cresteramics as a place for sale of the ceramic art products that are a big part of our history and as a source of income for our operation. Many local homes have gnomes, piggy banks and canister sets purchased there. It is also a work site for members to learn interpersonal skills.

Our store has become a venue for local artists and artisans to display and sell their creations while helping to support our agency. Ron Hurry, master goldsmith, shares the space with us. Shop-local Christmas gifts were responsible for a very busy store in December. Val, the store manager, has asked me to let you know that the store now has a Facebook page — check it out at “Cresteramics” — and that there currently is a 50 per cent off sale on selected ceramics and gold and silver jewelry.

Jimmy, a member of Cresteramics, is in the process of becoming a self advocate member of Kootenay Community Council, a group that helps to support community inclusion, citizenship and full participation of people with developmental disabilities throughout the province. Jimmy’s skills will be well used in this organization.

A transitions meeting was held at Prince Charles Secondary School on Jan. 27. This was an opportunity for parents and supporters of persons with developmental disabilities to learn about the resources that are available for young people as they finish their school careers. Represen-tatives from housing, education, employment, health, and recreation and leisure shared information about their resources. If you would like more information about this event, please contact Donna McCready at Cresteramics at 250-428-5538.

I have probably missed some of the activities that our members are involved in but just reviewing this list has made me dizzy. Did you know that Cresteramics was such a positive, busy, contributing place?

The variety and value of the programs offered by the dedicated staff contribute to the wellbeing, happiness and success of our members. The supportive partnerships within our community make Creston a place where inclusiveness and caring offer value to all of us.

Terry Nowak is a board member of the Cresteramics Society.

 

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