Friday, November 28, 2014

School Partnerships

This is an exciting year with 5 school partnerships. This means teachers and their classes will share projects with the Urukundo School in Rwanda. I am thrilled to work for a second time with Mt. Nittany Elementary and the Friends School and for the first time with Radio Park, Ferguson and the Nittany Valley Charter School. Today I'm sharing some of the Mt. Nittany projects with other stories to follow as the projects come to me.

Two classes, Mrs. California's and Mr. Fritz's, based their projects on the book "Where are you Going Manyoni?", a favorite with the children in Rwanda. It is the story of a little girl and her journey to a place she loves to be. Each page you have to find her in different habitats. Look hard as sometimes she and the animals are camouflaged.

Mrs. California's class drew pictures and wrote short descriptions of how they "actually" go to school and what their journey is like. Most traveled by bus or walked.

Mr. Fritz's class drew pictures and wrote stories to show how they "imagined" they would go to school. They journeyed on a dinosaur, horseback, dirt bike, jet, space station, hoover scooter, and one in a time machine. But he said the circuits were turned off so they didn't time travel.

One more class, Mrs. Hipp's, will write about traveling to school in other countries and describe landmarks and habitats.

In Rwanda they will do similar projects saying how they actually go to school AND have fun imagining new ways to travel to school. This is a great way for teachers and children to share their cultures across the globe! It will be interesting to see what is the same and what is different through their creativity.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Secret Seamstress Society 1

Amy Frank and her Secret Seamstress Society of girls ages 8 - 14 held an event to make super hero/story capes for the Urukundo School in Rwanda, Africa. This is the second year Amy gathered girls together to work on a giving back project. She plans to offer two free events each year to support the local community and the Urukundo School in Rwanda.

Assisting Amy with this collaborative project was another sewing instructor, Kristin. We even had a visit from Chris Rosenblum, senior reporter at the Centre Daily Times, to see what the activity at Contempo Boutique in Boalsburg was all about. And a wonderful story was the result. Thank you Chris. To read it in it's entirety, go to Centre Daily Times and search Secret Seamstress Society.

Some of the girls told me they worked on the fish project with Amy last fall and others said they remembered me when I came to their elementary schools to work on classroom to classroom partnerships. Great to know these partnerships have meaning for them a year later.

As always Amy and Kristin were organized and ready for the Halloween costumed girls. They would work collaboratively with some sewing, some cutting appliqué pieces and others finishing them with ribbon ties. They learned that everyone working together meant many hand were involved each each special cape.

I can't wait to see what the teachers and children in Rwanda think about them. What they will call them and how they will use them. And perhaps there will be other children that will write stories to go along with the capes. Anything is possible.

Amy Frank
Kristin Nasal
Chris Rosenblum
The Creativity team!

Secret Seamstress Society 2

Like busy elves they all worked collaboratively........Brianna, Nora, Rebecca, Lilly, Catherine, Aubrey, Maya, Ava, Emma, Beth, Corinne, Linlee, Maddie, Grayson, Hannah, Saylor, Paige and Violet.

Choosing a pattern and the colored felt brought out the artist in each girl. As the girls pinned on the accent piece they knew it would be so appreciated by the kids in Rwanda.

There were some oops as they sewed the felt pieces. But not to worry as they fixed what needed to be fixed. Some like the lightening bolts took extra careful concentration.

Finishing them off was a slow process as they threaded the ribbon for the ties through the top part.

Each completed new cape brought smiles of accomplishment as well as oohs and ahhs from all the girls. Certificates were handed out as they were encouraged to keep sewing on their own, at one of Amy's classes or at a future Secret Seamstress Society event.

Thank you to Amy, Kristin and all the girls for the super hero/story capes that will travel with me to the Urukundo School in March 2015.