Clayton School District educators Carol Wright, Sharon Blutinger, Andrea Bullock, Darby Malvey, Patty Reuter, Nicole Rogers and Amanda Hall originally offered students classified with Multiple Disabilities (MD) and regular education students the opportunity to learn to sew by hand and with a machine, to machine embroider, and use a scanner to create personalized projects. Thanks to a $6,341 continuation grant from the Hipp Foundation, a vinyl pressing machine will be purchased that is safe for special needs students to use, to enhance their projects with vinyl embellishments. Students will also be exposed to S.T.E.A.M. concepts through the use of “e-textiles” circuit sewing kits that include LED lighting, conductive thread, and copper taping to make projects that light up. These projects will be put on display in the school’s yearly art show.

Students will still be taught to crochet and knit. Some of the machines being used have Wi-Fi technology so students can see how these art forms have changed over time. MD students will be instructed during the day while regular education students will meet on a bi-monthly basis.

Students will be creating personal projects during instruction and will meet experienced presenters and volunteers who will share their knowledge and skills with students. The original three community service projects include Christmas stockings for soldiers stationed overseas, pillow cases for sick children in the hospital, and lap quilts for local seniors and veterans. When the projects are completed, students will deliver them. The additional project is to make surgical caps for children, which will be delivered to a surgical center/hospital on a field trip to show students how their hard work directly affects others. In addition, we will take a field trip to visit a craft/sewing store to tour and to become familiar with where items are located.

Students who develop skills will also put their talents to use by leading workshops for peers in the school’s Makerspace, creating items in support of school teams or clubs, or participating in ongoing events.

Local business and community partners will help replace consumables. The machines and technology tools purchased through the grant will allow this program to be sustainable for many years to come.

For more information, contact:

Carol Wright
(856) 881-8701 (Clayton Middle/High School)

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