Talk of the Town: You're invited to a royal tea!

Talk of the Town: Barclay School's Royal Tea Fundraiser
Updated: May. 15, 2018 at 12:56 PM EDT
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(WIS) - You're invited to a royal tea at Laura's Tea Room in Ridgeway. It's a fundraiser for The Barclay School. Dr. Gillian Barclay-Smith is the School Head.

On Monday, May 21 from 1 p.m. to 4 PM, Laura's Tea Room will host the Royal Tea Fundraiser for The Barclay School to celebrate the royal wedding. All proceeds will go to the school's tuition assistance fund. Tickets are $30 per person for a two-course high tea.

There will be a raffle and a chance to win something big like a high tea for two! The students of The Barclay School will be serving (with the help of the professionals, of course).

Reservations are required. Please call Laura's Tea Room at 803-337-8594 to save your spot. At the school itself, about once a week, the students roast coffee beans.

Learning entrepreneurial business skills, they sell their product and the money goes for scholarships for the school.  An emphasis is put on the quality and history of the beans.

More than 20 students attend the independent, private non-profit located in Ridgeway at 1364 Cook Road. The school was started by Dr. Barclay-Smith who as a child realized "cookie cutter" learning wasn't for her.

"I am a special needs child myself. I have dyslexia. And I struggled in school and I knew I had to be taught differently but at that point, people did not know that," Dr. Barclay-Smith says.

With a doctorate in education and years of teaching in traditional settings, she later designed The Barclay School for children with special learning needs to celebrate their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses.

"I wanted to have a place that felt warm and loving and homey because in that environment you lower anxiety. And where there is anxiety you cannot teach. Lower the anxiety and the most amazing things happen," Barclay-Smith said.

The most popular product made and sold by these students comes from Toby, a rescued pet rabbit.  The bunny's poo for the now famed Bunnies' Brew is collected and taken to a rain barrel in the shed.  The students make the stewed mixture of rabbit d roppings and water to create a fertilizer for gardens. The Bunnies' Brew is sold online and by local vendors for $10.

"We teach them money skills. They keep the books," Dr. Barclay-Smith says. "They approach the public. They take the money so they're learning social skills and how to interact with people. And then as a group, they decide what they want to do because this is their business and their money."

Gardening also is taught at The Barclay School as another way to achieve skill sets as some of these students will be limited in being educated beyond high school.  Numerous learning experiences that will help young minds stay active and help the children contribute to their communities.

Again, the Royal Tea Fundraiser at Laura's Tea Room is next Monday, May 21 from 1 - 4 p.m. Laura's Tea Room is at 105 N. Palmer Street in Ridgeway. Tickets are $30 for a two-course high tea. Call for your reservation - 803-337-8594.

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