Children from St. Mary’s, and Other Kids, Have Fun at Homearama

Carrington, who lives at St. Mary’s Home, works on a craft project with help from Angelica Yankauskas, a member of St. Mary’s recreational therapy staff, during Kids-a-Rama at Homearama on Sunday. (photo by Nicole Hoskins Jones)

There’s something for everyone at Homearama, even the kids.

On Sunday, staff from St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children held the first of two Kids-a-Ramas – with games, arts and crafts, book readings and more – during the Tidewater Builders Association’s Fall 2010 Homearama in Norfolk’s East Beach community.

They also will hold a fall-themed Kids-a-Rama on Sunday, Oct. 31, from 1-4 p.m. St. Mary’s is the recipient of proceeds from the sale of the Charity House at the Homearama showcase of homes.

About 70 children, including five from St. Mary’s Home, participated in the first Kids-a-Rama. They transformed coffee filters into flowers and butterflies, turned tissue paper into stained “glass,” decorated mermaid coloring-book pages, built houses out of craft sticks, created bookmarks, plucked toy ducks out of a pool to win prizes and played ring toss and cornhole.

Ron Herrick, manager of St. Mary’s environmental services department, and his wife, Melanie, stopped by Kids-a-Rama to work on some arts and crafts. (photo by Nicole Hoskins Jones)
Broderick, who lives at St. Mary’s Home, tries to fish a toy duck out of the pool, with assistance from Stephanie Bailey,  a recreational therapy assistant at St. Mary’s (in yellow), and Target team member Betty Hollowell (in red). (photo by Nicole Hoskins Jones)

“The children who live at St. Mary’s do many of these same activities, with some modifications to make them therapy-based,” said Nicole Hoskins Jones, St. Mary’s director of recreational therapy services, who organized Kids-a-Rama.

Target team members are helping with Kids-a-Rama. (photo by Nicole Hoskins Jones)

Local Target stores donated supplies for Kids-a-Rama and Target team members are volunteering to help with the programs.

Also among those helping with the effort is Jenna Crumley, the 9-year-old daughter of the Charity House builder, Scott Crumley. Jenna and her friends have started a “Kid2Kid” program to reach out to children of St. Mary’s Home. They have donated party materials to the children, and sold lemonade to raise funds for the children.

The first Kids-a-Rama also included story time, with local author Lisa Suhay reading her children’s book, “There Goes a Mermaid! A NorFolktale.” To celebrate St. Mary’s 65th anniversary, the Home sponsored the publication of a special updated edition of the book, which was inspired by the statues around Norfolk that are shaped like the city’s mermaid symbol.