Part of our mission at The Children’s School is to raise community-minded children who not only are aware of their surroundings, but are also involved with the larger community. One of the goals of the school at all grade levels is to help each student understand his or her responsibility to make a contribution to society.
In addition to school-wide service projects, each class selects at least one beneficiary and plans and implements a service project. This year Clare, Jocelyn and Sauda’s pre-primary class chose to work with the non-profit re:loom, a partner program through the Initiative of Affordable Housing. This company employs and empowers homeless and low-income individuals through weaving beautiful, one-of-a-kind products out of upcylced materials. The money raised from these sales goes directly back into supplying the weavers with full-time paychecks.
While older children can more easily extract meaning from a multitude of service projects, it is much harder for young children to grasp that same sentiment. When pre-primary found re:loom, it became a larger project that was broken up into four parts that three and four year olds could be part of.
First, the class discussed the impact of homelessness and read a variety of stories provided by Katie, our librarian. The discussion then focused on empathy for others and how the children could help people in our community.
The second part of our service project was performed by the students and their families. They hosted a materials drive to gather fabric to donate to re:loom where it is broken down and then used as “yarn” to be woven into rugs, bags, pillows, hammocks etc. and then sold. Pre-primary also reached out to our faculty community, asking for old clothes, sheets, towels, and other scrap fabrics. The turnout was remarkable! We had to recruit Lyubo, one of our maintenance crew, to help us haul the 10 garbage bags full of materials on to the buses to take with us to re:loom.
The third part of this service project was to visit re:loom. We were greeted by Tammy, one of the coordinators, who explained the whole process to the class. She showed the children how the fabric was cut a few different ways to turn a rectangular piece of fabric into one long strip. After the fabric is cut, it is then rolled into a ball, that later is woven on the looms. The children then had the opportunity to meet the weavers and help them on their looms. They had a blast using the lathe that set each row of yarn and pressing the pedals of the loom.
Finally, the children were escorted to the showroom where all the finished products were on display for sale. The children admired the bags, hammocks, rugs, and wallets. We decided as a class that we would purchase a rug to display in our dramatic play area in the classroom. The children all took a vote and the selected rug has burgundy, green and cream stripes.
This was such a memorable trip for everyone and we encourage you to visit their website at www.reloom.org to help support our community.