Get Ready for The Switch

 Posted by on April 20, 2012  Needle and ThREAD
Apr 202012

“The time has come,” the walrus said…

Yep, yep. It’s time to separate Stitching for Literacy and It’s a work-in-progress. The S4L Book Club and usual posts will continue over on the Jen site while I get the new digs sorted out and decorated.

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May 252011

Our friend, Mare, stitched and donated 124 bookmarks this year. The lion’s share went to a school in northern NJ, and the rest went to her local library.

Stitching for Literacy: Mare's Hand-Stitched Bookmarks

Wow is right! But wait . . . there’s more!

Mare met with her local librarian and did a bookmark demo for her, suggesting it be part of the library’s summer teen reading program. A few of the kids in the teen program walked in during the demo and were curious. When they saw Mare’s completed bookmarks, the kids went nuts.

There were 2 or 3 girls and one guy. They wanted to make one. The teens texted their friends about doing them as part of their weekly library/craft group and created a buzz. Kids texted the librarian asking when they were going to be able to do them.

I had the librarian stitching one as we discussed it. She was very happy to see the kids so excited about it. So I am teaching 25 kids at the end of July.

The theme of the summer reading program is travel and different countries. The country she wants me to promote is Africa so I’ve read up on African weaving, the dyeing of the reeds, and what the colors signify. I will talk about dyeing fabric and threads with natural produce (beets, onion skins, tea, coffee, kool aid, berries, etc.) as we stitch. The ribbon yarn I’ll be getting will be vibrant.

Stitching for Literacy, some of Mare's bookmarks

How fun is that? How generous is that?

Does your local library have a summer program where you might be able to do a demonstration or make-it-take-it? Mare made up her own project for her program, but if you’re not comfortable doing that, I’ll be happy to help. I’m sure Mare would be, too. Let us know!

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May 182011

A hand-stitched bookmark donation!

A huge congratulations and thank you to the Redwood Stitchers chapter of The Embroiderers’ Guild of America in Santa Rosa, CA! Fourteen members stitched and delivered 112 embroidered bookmarks in the name of Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy to

  • the Kawana Elementary School in Santa Rosa, CA,
  • a local Christian school, and
  • a second grade class in North Sacramento.

Stitching for Literacy: embroidered bookmarks donated by the Redwood Stitchers chapter of EGA

This is almost double the number of bookmarks the Redwood Stitchers crafted last year.

“The children were thrilled to receive them,” says Rose, the project coordinator. “It was definitely a successful and enjoyable project.”

Thank you for reaching out to kids to encourage and reward reading and to introduce them to the wonderful, creative world of embroidery!

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May 092011

Cross stitch bookmark by SuperMo for Stitching for LiteracyCross stitch bookmark by Super Mo. Finished using a Funk & Weber Designs / Stitching for Literacy quick-finish method.

I have an idea. Actually, I have several ideas. Shocking, isn’t it?

You know how authors do school visits to teach and inspire writing? One of my writing partners does them, and I, myself, have done a couple. Where I live is not conducive to in-person visits because there’s only one nearby school, so travel time and expenses are high.

I know some authors who do virtual visits through Skype or other digital means. I’ve never done that. I don’t even own a computer video camera. But I could get one.

I’m always encouraging you S4L readers to take your needlework into a local classroom or library and get the kids started stitching. Well, I think it’s time I practice what I preach: I’d like to put together a virtual Stitching for Literacy school/library visit. To help make it happen, I think I’ll use the Monday accountability posts to set goals and mark progress on this project.

My first goal is to do some research. I want to talk with some librarians, teachers, school occupational therapists, and random others to find out if they think this is a good idea and what the program should contain to provide maximum educational benefit and inspiration.

My goal this week is to e-talk with my first librarian/teacher/OT. Maybe a second and third one, too.

So, tell me, do you think virtual school visits to teach embroidery in classrooms and libraries is a good idea? What should my program contain to provide the best benefit to all involved?

What’s your goal for this week?

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Un-Creative Kids

 Posted by on May 4, 2011  Needle and ThREAD
May 042011

Cross stitch bookmark pattern by Funk & Weber DesignsDuring some recent school visits, my friend and writing partner, Linda Stanek, had teachers comment repeatedly on a lack of creativity in young students. They claim that kids are not imaginative and cannot create original stories.

We can speculate on why this would be—teachers being forced to “teach to tests,” kids’ participation in non-stop structured activities, the amount of time spent consuming digital media, etc.—but mostly I’m interested in whether it is, indeed, true or not.

I’m curious what teachers and parents (and OTs) here think about this. Is this something you notice, too?

2011 Bookmark Challenge

 Posted by on April 25, 2011  Needle and ThREAD
Apr 252011

Stitching for Literacy: Monkey Read, Monkey Do cross stitch bookmark pattern from Funk & Weber DesignsFor collections being presented for Children’s Book Week, the 2011 Bookmark Challenge ends this week, April 28. The good news is, we’re stitching year round now for all sorts of programs.

So here’s my new goal for the Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy program: have someone—or some group—somewhere Stitching for Literacy every month of the year.

I suspect we’re pretty close to that now; I just need to do a better job of finding out what’s going on. The new Stitching for Literacy website (which you all doubt is ever coming—I know) will have an event calendar so we can post all our doings, month by month.

Here are some ideas for the summer months:

  • Teach kids to stitch at a summer camp (vacation Bible school, Girl Scouts, Campfire Boys and Girls, YWCA, etc.).
  • Contact your library to see what summer events they have scheduled where you might be able to demonstrate or teach embroidery.
  • Assemble some extra supplies and go stitch at a playground. Make a sign that says “Stitch with me!”

There is a summer camp facility very close to where I live, here in the middle of nowhere. I’ve been meaning to make contact and see what I might offer.

There. I’ve said it publicly. Now see that I do it, okay?

What can you do to encourage reading and stitching this summer? Who will you contact?

And don’t forget to let me know so I can put it on the calendar! Send your info to mail AT funkandweber DOT com. Our email address is in the sidebar, you know.