Fair provides crafts, resources for families

May 8, 2023

The Dartmouth High School gym was packed with craft lovers and community members on Sunday, May 8 for the Special Education Parent Advisory Council resource and craft fair.

The “crafty” items for sale ranged from photography to jewelry and woodworking.

In addition to crafters, groups which provide support services attended the fair offering information on resources for parents and children of all ages.

The fair worked both as a fundraiser for the Special Education Parent Advisory Council and as a way to connect people to resources and local shopping.

The goal was to provide a venue that has no opportunity for stigma. This is achieved by having both crafts for-sale and resource and support information at the same event, said Kathleen Amaral, co-chair of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council.

“Making it more of a community event, allowing for people to shop local and then also pick up brochures or talk to somebody right there [helps] because you don't know that you might benefit from connecting with a resource until you know that resource exists,” said Amaral.

The event was open to everyone and featured music from the Dartmouth High School string ensemble.

Tables were available to any crafter. One young crafter, Rebbecca Watson, 11, sold beaded bracelets she made herself.

She said it takes her up to fifteen minutes to make each bracelet, which sold for about $5 each.

Rebecca’s mom was grateful she had the opportunity.

“She wanted to get into craft fairs, that is why she is here,” said Karen Watson, Rebecca's mom. “I think it is a great opportunity for her and other local vendors — especially living in Dartmouth.”

The vendors were also happy to share their work with the community, with the hope of making some profits.

Lori Lowney-Batchelder, a landscape photographer from Fall River sold prints of local landscapes and some from abroad. She explained that she finds joy in sharing her pictures with family members who are unable to get out as much so they can “live through [her] vicariously.”

Multiple groups offering support services had tables at the event, hoping to raise awareness for different resources available to children and parents.

One of the groups at the event was Parent Information Network which provides support to families with children aged 5 to 25 who experience serious emotional, behavioral, and or mental health challenges.

“We are with families for the long haul,” said Catherine Martin, parent coordinator at the network.

For more information about the event or available resources, email DartmouthSEPAC@gmail.com.