Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for...

Crafty C.A.T.S. (Community Action Teen Service) is a creative arts-based community service program for tweens and teens ages 11+ that I run at the Escondido Public Library. Volunteerism is a requirement for almost all high schools, academic associations, community groups like the Scouts, and scholarships, so I wanted to provide students with a way to earn community service credit while strengthening their creative and artistic skills.

Over the last four years, I have developed partnerships with the following community groups:
  • Escondido Humane Society - knit Snuggle blankets for shelter animals
  • Palomar Hospital, Escondido Literacy Department, and First 5 San Diego - knit beanies for newborn babies as part of the Born to Read program
  • Sharp Memorial Hospital Cancer Center - knit hats for chemotherapy patients
  • Ships Project - knit hats and scarves for troops overseas
  • Knit squares and sent them to Africa to be made into quilts for AIDS orphans
We also make handmade bookmarks to sell in the library, and we even put our painting skills to use last summer when we removed graffiti from city property. Projects like these give students both a local and a global perspective on philanthropy while engaging them in a creative, artistic way.