After a summer break for the Make Welcome sewing class, we were very happy to start again today. For the record, we didn't take the summer completely off. There was plenty of planning, sorting and organizing donated fabric and supplies, sample sewing, outreach to new students, visits with old students, and logistics work. We were glad for the time to get many behind-the-scenes tasks accomplished and are ready for another great year in the Make Welcome sewing classroom!
This year, for the first time, we are running two classes concurrently. We can do this because we have two new sewing teachers. Welcome, Carla and Jennifer! Both women were part time volunteers last year and we are so glad they have agreed to increase their involvement with Make Welcome by teaching the new Beginners Sewing Class. Over the summer, we formalized our sewing lessons into an 8 week project based curriculum and we look forward to sharing weekly updates on how our new students are doing!
Carla (above) with one of our new little ones
Jennifer (below) teaching KKH how to thread the machine
Our returning students actually started last week with a Sewing Skills Assessment which they continued this week. The assessment helps both students and teachers know how we are doing. We are proud of the progress these women have made and we look forward to even greater quality of work, precision, skill, and efficiency. This year, we hope that many of our returning students will join the Stay at Home Mom Manufacturing team for our sister business, Journey Home. More news on that exciting development in the weeks ahead!
Lisa leading Z and CN in the skills assessment
Returning students concentrating on Zipper Pouch project as part of their assessment
There were smiles and hugs all around this morning, lots of laughter, plenty of concentration, and good work accomplished! Welcome back, everyone. It's going to be a great year full of learning, friendship, and more![. . .]
We are gearing up for our third year of Make Welcome! Each year has brought new developments to our program as we continue to grow our outreach to the refugee community. Through the month of August, we'll be highlighting some of these new and/or redesigned initiatives.
One of the aspects of Make Welcome that we are particularly proud of is the childcare program. We’ve made it a priority to provide this. We know that so many young refugee moms are excluded from many other programs because they aren’t able to bring their little children along and don’t have other babysitting options. Often their husbands work long hours and their apartment complexes don’t have a safe place to play - so they’re basically stuck indoors much of the day, most of the week.
At Make Welcome, these refugee moms get a morning out. Our awesome childcare volunteers watch over their precious kiddos and play games, mold playdoh, read books, blow bubbles, and rock babies. The moms get to sew, talk, laugh and generally just enjoy several hours with other adults and no kids (usually) in tow. Anyone who has been a stay at home mom to young kids knows how important such times are to your sanity!
This year, we’re adding a new aspect to our program. We’re going to provide a Preschool Readiness program to the 3-5 year olds, teaching them alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors and more! We’re really excited about this new initiative...but we need your help.
It takes a lot of Playdoh, markers, stickers and toys to keep our preschoolers busy. We rely on supply donations, and we’ve got a long list this year! Do you want to help stock our new preschool class? Then head over to our Preschool Amazon wishlist and send some new markers, legos or stickers our way. Even if you never get a chance to see the class in action, know that your supplies donation will be greatly appreciated by kids AND volunteers alike![. . .]