On Wednesday, each student in a special education class was given a mum or garter to celebrate homecoming week. Due to COVID-19, the classes had to abide by social distancing protocols. This meant that instead of members of student council and Falcon Friends passing out the mums and garters to students in their classes, members of the Special Needs Booster Club instead passed them out outside to each child individually.

The group made 39 mums and garters in total, for students both in person and remote. This project took 5 weeks of tireless work to create each personalized mum. The leader of this project, DaLana Barsanti said, “Each mum takes me anywhere from 3-6 hours to create on average.”

Ever since Barsanti’s son, Collin, was a freshman, she has been making these mums for each student enrolled in a special education class. “My son Collin is my inspiration. I still have all 4 of his garters hanging on his wall. Every time I walk into his room, I see them. And to this day, I still smile when I look at them.”

Not only does each student receive a mum or garter, but each mum is personalized to what each student enjoys, including favorite color, show, or movie character. “As the years have passed, we have been given permission to add names and even find out more details about the students. This helps make each mum and garter special,” said Barsanti.

The mum and garter exchange was created to make students feels included. This exchange helps the families of the special education students feel “normal”, as Barsanti puts it. “I know firsthand how important it is for your special needs child to be accepted. I know what it means to me when someone treats my special needs son with care and respect. I know what a difference it makes in my own life when someone goes out of their way to make my special needs son feel included and our family feel ‘normal’,” said Barsanti.

The special education mum and garter exchange has become a favorite tradition here at Timber Creek, and shows no signs of stopping, even through a pandemic. If students and or families are interested in donating to this project, please reach out to the TCHS Parent Teacher Students Association via Facebook.

Members of the PTSA and Special Needs Booster Club made dozens of mums and garders for special needs students at Timber Creek High School. Watch video of their reactions to getting these special deliveries, plus view photos of the exchange below.

View photos from the annual SPED mum exchange on Oct. 7. All photos available for purchase here.

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