Middle School Craftsy Corner Helps Students Unwind After School
After school on Mondays and Wednesdays, The Middle School Student Support Room transforms into the “Craftsy Corner.”
“Crocheting, knitting, any kind of crafting, studies show it can help with mental stress,” says Student Support Specialist Mrs. Charmaine Coleman, who started the Craftsy Corner. “I wanted to make a space where students can go after school and just kind of meddle out their feelings.”
One of the first members to join the Craftsy Corner, Eleanor, a 7th grader, has been crocheting since her grandma taught her when she was 8-years-old. She says she loves coming after school to spend time with her friends and has even made some new ones. She says, “It’s kind of like therapy because you can take your mind off of everything going on around you. I’ve always used crocheting as an outlet for myself.” When asked what she plans to do with all of her creations she says, “I would love to see us donate the items we make to help people in need.”
How the Craftsy Corner Started
Mrs. Charmaine says the idea came to her while she was crocheting in the lunchroom, a student came up to her and asked ‘what was she doing’ and Mrs. Charmaine responded with “I’m crocheting.” That’s when the idea for the Craftsy Corner came into her head. She has taught quite a few students and staff how to crochet during that time. Mrs. Charmaine says she wanted to find a space where they could continue learning and practicing after the bell rings.
7th grader, Sophia, says Mrs. Charmaine taught her how to crochet last year during lunch. She says since then she’s made stuffed animals, a blanket for her bearded dragon, and is currently working on an octopus backpack. She was one of the first to join the Craftsy Corner and says, “I really hope to learn more crochet techniques and patterns. I want to be able to teach those to other students as they start coming after school.” She goes on to say, “I have a lot of anxiety. Doing something that’s slow, that I can work on at my own pace and be proud, boosts my confidence. I’m hoping it can have that effect on other students too.”
According to Special Education Teacher Josh Craig, it has helped his students have more confidence. He says, “I’ve noticed students who have learned these new skills and have made items for themselves have a greater sense of self worth and pride. They’re excited to show people what they’ve made.” He also says they’re learning skills that will help them in the future, “They’re learning that not everything has to be perfect. When you start a project, it’s ok to mess up and have to start over.”
Right now the Craftsy Corner relies on donated craft supplies for the students to use. Thank you to the SSP Educational Foundation- Dylan Engen Memorial Endowment Fund for their generous $1,000 donation to get the club running. The students are hoping as they make more items they will have enough for a craft sale. The students say they would like to be able to purchase bigger equipment like sewing machines. Marianna, a 6th grader, says “I came to the club to unwind after school. I’ve learned how to crochet and someday hope to learn how to sew and make my own dress.”
The Craftsy Corner meets every Monday and Wednesday after school and is open to students in grades 6-12. Mrs.Charmaine says she is hoping to add more days after school and year round to give students a place to go and a sense of belonging. She says, “Not all kids are athletes or play sports to clear their minds, I’m happy to offer a place for students to come and meet others with similar interests.”
If you would like to donate any craft supplies to the Craftsy Corner, reach out to the SSPPS Communications Department who can get you in touch with Mrs. Charmaine.