Back in June, I posted a blog entry about a school teacher in Pennsylvania who uses needlework in her art classes. The school is in a poorer district, so art supplies are often scarce, but the students LOVE to learn how to cross stitch. Jo supplements what the school can afford to give her with items from her own needlework supplies, and needless to say, 1,000 students a week can really stretch resources.
Well, a good number of you out there were extremely generous, and Jo says she received boxes and boxes of cross stitch patterns, fabrics, threads, accessories (needles, scissors), and even some art supplies for her other lessons. (Some of the stash can be seen in the picture below...right under a Thank You from the students.)
Here's what Jo had to say recently:
....I was able to take a few photos of a tiny bit of THE STASH to send. Will do more as time permits as I don't want all of the kids to see it all yet because I want them to do their Indian Medicine Skins first. If they see the cross stitch then they will be after me to do that. And I need to do this seasonal project for the curriculum first. The way it is, they know the boxes are cross stitch, and the few kids that helped unpack went crazy, and the word went out like wildfire. Of course they all are excited and want to cross stitch right now.
I did tell them that kids younger than they are did cross stitch samplers and alphabets to keep track of their laundry because in Plymouth, Mass., their laundry was all done together and everyone wore the same sized shirt/dress. They listen and are just amazed that people lived like this in the 1600's. Ha. Roughing it.
What also amazes them is the generosity of the ladies that sent the care packages for us. The kids can't believe all the charts that were sent!!! ...we were using a lot of the free charts you can copy, so when they saw the big box of charts it was amazing. There are many many boxes that came and there are threads, charts, fabric, and needles. Also some ladies sent glue glue sticks paint and enough crayons for me to fill up the crayon boxes on every table.
Our deepest thanks go out to everyone. Because of your kindness and generosity the kids will have a lot more than the two yards of Aida and the six packs of thread and the needles I ordered on my supply order. Bless you all. Thank you thank you thank you.
Oh. This was cute. I asked them to sign their name to the thank you and one boy asked if he signed it does that mean he would get to cross stitch? THEY ARE EXCITED. Thanks so much for everything I have to have the patience of a saint to get thru this first project. Thank goodness the 6th grade already knows how to stitch. I will only have to teach the 5th grade with the smaller stuff. Thanks again....The beginning of school is so hectic. Love, Jo
Two other cute stories... one of the girls had questions about the donations. She wondered if we were all rich....or did they have to stitch the needlework and send it back to the donors? Why would strangers send such treasures to kids they didn't even know? Jo explained that everyone was just being generous with what they had that was extra, and the girl was wide-eyed and amazed at it all.
Another girl looked through the kits and came up to Jo with TWO of them. The students are allowed to work on only one kit, and if they finish that one, they can pick out another. This girl said she really liked BOTH kits, so she was going to stitch as quickly as she could on the first one and hope that the second one was left. (Jo said she stuck this second kit aside for the girl for when she was finished.)
Jo isn't able to send us pictures of the children, for confidentiality reasons, you know. But when I get any updates, I'll let you all know how they're doing. If you would like to contribute needlework supplies and/or art supplies to Jo and her art program, send to:
Joanne Edwards -- Elementary Art Teacher
c/o Lakeland Elementary School
1569 Lakeland Drive
Scott Township, PA 18433
Thanks for helping those in need, guys!!!
Theresa, I would like to know what this teacher needs the most for needlework projects. I went to the school's website but they don't provide email addresses for the teachers. Do you know what would be most helpful?
I think they have a lot of charts now, so aida cloth, needles, scissors, little kits or thread of any type would all be helpful. They can also use art supplies like markers, construction paper colored pencils, etc. thanks for asking!
That is awesome. I definitely need to send them something. Reassure the men that it's not only okay for guys to stitch but it's fun too. One of the problems I had, as a child, was the negative comments from other males saying that stitching was something women do. Of course I have always been good at ignoring people. lol.
Such a great article! I agree with Erik - stitching is something that everyone can do - guts and girls! I'm definitely sorting through my stash to see what I have here to send for this teacher and her students. I know how expensive it can be for a teacher who must rely on their own resources. This teacher and anyone who contributes to her cause should be commended! We need to encourage the kids or this art form will die out.
Yes...encourage the guys as well- I had alot of thr neighbir kids doing plastic canvas for awhile...but my ex hubbt put a stop to my son doing it..cuz its a womans thing- my ex now sews on a sewing machine to help put native outfits together... :-)
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