Pleasant Acre Day School has beads galore

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 13, 2009

NATCHEZ — The bead room at Pleasant Acre Day School looks like the streets a day after a Mardi Gras parade — only cleaner and much more organized.

The students at the school work year round to count, sort, package and then sell thousands of strands of colorful beads to raise money for their special trips and projects.

Pleasant Acre Day School is a learning center for special needs adults. Currently the school has eight full-time students and two part-time students.

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Mary Ann Foggo-Eidt, director of Pleasant Acre Day School, said the students work in steps to get the donated beads sorted and packaged into sellable goods.

“First they sort by colors, and then they take each color and sort by size,” Foggo-Eidt said.

Foggo-Eidt said the work is a rewarding project for her students because it gives them a sense of accomplishment while they are working and when customers come and purchase the beads.

“They are learning skills while they are doing it, and they don’t even realize they are picking up certain skills like counting and colors,” she said. “And they learn from the interaction with the community when they come to buy the beads or drop off beads.”

Foggo-Eidt said bead sorting is a year-round project, but some times are busier than others.

“We will really start heating up in a couple of weeks when people start dropping beads off,” she said. “We get beads from all over south Louisiana and New Orleans and all the way up to Natchez.”

And to make room for all the new beads that will be arriving shortly, Foggo-Eidt said the current stock of beads needs to be sold.

“Our goal would be to sell every bead in this room,” she said, gesturing to the strands of beads that fill the pegboards and tables in the room. “That would be just fantastic.”

The beads are bundled in packs of 12 and sold for $1 per pack. There are also assorted bags of beads that contain several dozen and are priced at $1 for each dozen.

Larger strands of beads are packaged in smaller increments but are also only $1 per package.

Specialty beads are $1 per strand.

But beads aren’t the only things the shop has to sell; there are also throws, small trinket items, available for $1 per package.

The Beads Galore shop is open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We have everything you could get at a Mardi Gras world,” Foggo-Eidt said.