School: Ka Waihona o Ka Naʻauao, Public Charter School
Grade Level: Girlʻs Club, 7-8
Teacher: Dariess Ah Sui
Driving Question: How can we create handmade art that celebrates the beauty of our lives and communicates a sense of aloha? How can art help us process through and express our feelings, thoughts, and emotions in positive ways when facing challenging situations like COVID-19?
What did the students do?
This club of 7th and 8th grade girls were introduced to various arts and crafts forms to produce original handmade items including personalized decals, greeting cards, beaded jewelry, hand-sewn scrunchies and hair bands, and other easy-to-make sewing items. The club sold some of the items to raise funds for post-COVID field experiences, donations to community service organizations, and to purchase more art supplies for the group. While working on their crafts together on a virtual platform, the girls took advantage of opportunities to discuss topics they were interested in using a Community Circle method to foster peer relationships, create lasting friendships, and to process through the myriad of emotions they were experiencing. Discussion time provided students with much needed support and social interactions they were missing due to COVID-19 school closures.
Furthermore, the students were learning that art could be a tool for:
- exploring feelings and emotions which could be creatively expressed through various mediums and handcrafted items
- sharing emotions, communicating ideas, and building relationships with others
- sharing knowledge across generations to strengthen relationships
With their new found confidence and growing support system, the girls aspired to apply their leadership skills in peer settings in a post-covid norm.
Place-Based Field Experiences/Connections.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 school closures and CDC restrictions when schools reopened, the group was not able to attend any field experiences. However, some group members were able to distribute their greeting cards for special family events including Christmas, Mother’s Day, and high school graduation. Customized items were given as gifts to family members, but further distribution of goods to community entities were curbed due to COVID restrictions. Monies raised from the sale of crafted items were used for purchasing art supply kits the girls could use to continue crafting over the summer months.