826CHI is one of those supremely special places. A non-profit writing center for kids that offers workshops, field trips and tutoring for city kids, all free. Not just in Chicago, there’s 826LA, Boston, NYC- in all, 8 cities that provide this valuable service to kids ages 8-18.
I’ve volunteered at the Chicago location over the years, and this year decided that it was time for me to offer a workshop of my own. Craft and Write a Letter was a two day workshop where we taught 11 5th, 6th and 7th graders to create their own original stationery, and then write a letter on that stationery.
These kids were so creative! Each of them crafted something so unique and interesting; from shaped stationery, to origami, to multiple wraps and interesting folds, to hand painting. One of the students even tea stained cotton paper, after we spoke about how this is a way to get an interesting color to the paper.
I had two teacher assistants that helped demonstrate some of the practices we use at Sarah Drake: edge painting, envelope lining and construction, multiple wrapped string and pearl, and each student really took off, creating just what spoke to them.
The tables were filled with ideas, paper, glue, and crafts, just like our studio table gets after a creative invitation consultation.
Writing the letters was the second session, and the students each wrote lengthy letters to friends, family and past teachers. The time really flew by, and hopefully, I’ll get to offer this class again, as I really felt like it was important to teach this to kids who mostly tweet, text and instagram as their main form of communication.