SFMS to host Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair

by Jeff Pederson
Sheboygan Falls News Editor


THE SHEBOYGAN FALLS MIDDLE SCHOOL Student Council will hold its third annual Craft Fair Saturday, Dec. 6, in the Sheboygan Falls Middle School gym from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Shilo Mission School in Haiti, founded by SFMS teacher Laurie Haag. 
Submittedphoto THE SHEBOYGAN FALLS MIDDLE SCHOOL Student Council will hold its third annual Craft Fair Saturday, Dec. 6, in the Sheboygan Falls Middle School gym from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Shilo Mission School in Haiti, founded by SFMS teacher Laurie Haag. Submittedphoto The Sheboygan Falls Middle School Student Council will once again celebrate the spirit of the season of giving with its third annual Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair event Saturday, Dec. 6, in the SFMS gym and gym lobby.

This years event, which runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., will feature over 40 vendors and crafters from throughout the region.

All money raised will go to support the Shilo Mission School in Haiti, founded by SFMS teacher Laurie Haag.

“We started this event two years ago to benefit a student at the middle school with cancer through the Hope for Brianna initiative, and it turned out to be a huge success,” Sheboygan Falls Middle School Student Council Advisor Anne Powers said. “Last year the money we raised went to the Boys & Girls Club, the Sheboygan Falls Food Pantry and the middle school Falcon Way program.”


THE THIRD ANNUAL SHEBOYGAN FALLS MIDDLE SCHOOL Student Council Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair will take place Saturday, Dec. 6, in the Sheboygan Falls Middle School gym. 
Submittedphoto THE THIRD ANNUAL SHEBOYGAN FALLS MIDDLE SCHOOL Student Council Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair will take place Saturday, Dec. 6, in the Sheboygan Falls Middle School gym. Submittedphoto Powers indicated that this year’s fair, which features free admission, will have a large selection of items from crafters and vendors from throughout the area and beyond.

“We are really going to have a nice selection of items again this year,” Powers said. “Just like last year, it is on the same day as Main Street Memories, so we hope people will head over to visit us too.”

The list of expected items at this year’s fair include: knitted and crocheted hats, scarves, mittens, headbands, purses, baby blankets, dog sweaters, afghans, doilies, towels, sewn doll clothes, wine bottle gift bags, aprons, purses, quilts, bibs, fleece pillows, heating bags, totes, table runners, Barbie doll clothes, plate flowers, lighted bottles, jewelry, wine glass rings, cross-stitch items, jams and jellies, syrups, quick breads, metal lawn art, hand turned and burned wood products, greeting photo cards, barnboard items, bird houses and feeders, marshmallow shooters, goat milk soap, candles and vinyl nail shields.

For those looking for Christmas speciality items and decorations, a sampling of greenery pots, quilled ornaments and decor, wreaths, angels and personalized ornaments will also be available.

Powers says home-based vendors, along with parents, community members and school supporters, will be on hand to sell their wares.

Homemade breakfast and lunch concessions will also be made available by the Sheboygan Falls High School Culinary Department.

The Craft and Vendor Fair is of one of the major events organized by the 39 members of the SFMS Student Council throughout the school year.

The Sheboygan Falls Middle School Student Council has also led book drives for Safe Harbor, rang bells for the Salvation Army, donated to families who have lost homes to fire and conducted Penny Wars and a Hot Shots free throw contest to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

In addition, the SFMS Student Council recently completed a food drive to benefit the Sheboygan Falls Food Pantry.

“Student Council is all about leadership and working together for the good of the community, including the school community.,” Powers said. “We are committed to helping people in need and helping to foster a fun and friendly school.

“Last year we also held a soda tab drive to benefit Ronald Mc- Donald House,” she said. “We sell Valentines in February, have daily Spirit Week activities before homecoming, as well as an ugly sweater and door decorating contests in December. We sponsored our first dance on November 7th and will have another dance in April. Student Council sells ice cream on Fridays and concessions at sporting events to help raise money for school functions and community donations. We also provide the school staff with a treat at least once a year to show our appreciation and promote school spirit.”

Powers says the educational work of the Shilo Mission School is especially important in Haiti, where education is typically only available to a very restricted segment of the population.

“In America it is expected that all children will attend school,” Powers said. “Children not only have the right to education, but it’s mandated by law that they attend until 18 years of age.

“However, in a fifth-world country like Haiti, that is not the case,” she said. “The average Haitian family spends 40-50 percent of its income on education. In a small, rural community like Macomb, Haiti, which has been devastated by poverty and there are very few jobs, these families struggle for education. Many times people sell their children into slavery for the price of a seat in a classroom.

The Shilo Mission School opened in Macomb, Haiti last October. According to Powers, 33 children attended the first day the school was open and today there are nearly 100 students enrolled.

“Shilo Mission School is an elementary school that focuses on providing free, Christ-centered education to the neediest families in the Macomb,” Powers said. “Many of the children are orphans and child slaves known in Haiti as restaveks.

“The youngest child slave, Robencia, is just 4 years old,” she said. “Our students are those who would not attend school without Shilo Mission School. In Haiti, uniforms, shoes, backpacks and materials are to be purchased by the families. In this community, many families cannot afford the basic supplies. At the Shilo Mission School, the majority of these items are provided or students are allowed to come without these items until they are donated or their families find means to obtain them.”

Powers points out that the school system in Haiti is completely different than it is in the United States.

”In Haiti, school begins at age 3, but classes are not set up according to age,” Powers said. “Students must pass the grade to move on. If they cannot pass the government tests in sixth grade, ninth grade and the graduation test, they are no longer allowed to continue school. This is a government rule, not ours.

“To make matters even more difficult for these families, the government tests are written in French, and the families in rural Haiti don’t speak French,” he said. “They speak Haitian Creole, which differs greatly from French. This means that in addition to learning their regular elementary school curriculum, students must also be fluent in a foreign language (French) by sixth grade.”

Powers says assisting a child at Shilo Mission School makes a significant impact on the quality of their lives.

“When you sponsor a child at Shilo Mission School, he or she receives free, Christ-centered education with age and grade appropriate curriculum, a healthy snack/small meal daily and two medical exams annually,” Powers said. “The cost of sponsorship is $25 per month. It is through generous people that we are able to provide free, quality education in Macomb, Haiti.”

For more information about becoming a sponsor, visit lovefeedsourworld.org/sponsorship


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