Collet Park Elementary currently conducts a during-school-hours 4H program for 3rd and 4th graders that is the only one of its kind in the nation. One of the aspects of this program is to introduce interested students to the craft of woodworking. This is no-power-tools operation that increases moderately in complexity as the year progresses and culminates in the students designing and building a small project, (bird house, wooden toolbox, step stool are some examples,) under the tutelage of a mentor who guides them through the process. Currently, the woodworking portion is taught by the 4H program instructor (who is not a woodworker) using an excellent curriculum that the principal and several other educators (non-woodworkers) developed.
In support of this effort, AWA Board members reviewed the program’s curriculum and found it to be technically correct and well written. The AWA Education Director will also be visiting the school on August 26th to talk about woodworking and answer student questions. AWA member Ros Barnes will be giving the students a virtual tour of his workshop sometime during September.
AWA members can volunteer to support this program by:
- Donating scrap wood (no rough wood…must be milled smooth; not longer than 12″; odd shape cutoffs are highly valued.)
- Donating time to provide in-classroom woodworking expertise. (Answer student questions and assist the 4H instructor)
- Serving as a woodworking mentor for an end-of-year project.
- Donating time to provide wood expertise and assist the school when they buy wood.
- Donating time at your home shop to cut large pieces of wood (lumber and sheet goods) to smaller sizes for the students.
The AWA Board sees this as an ideal “give back” opportunity for our membership to educate and assist fledgling woodworkers in order to help cultivate a lifelong passion for our craft. Some of the student’s parents have also been showing interest in pursuing woodworking because of their involvement in their child’s projects. In many ways, this partnership with Collet Park Elementary meets AWA’s goal of reaching out to the next generation of woodworkers, and allows us who already have the passion (and the tools and skills) to pass along our beloved craft to those who will come behind us.
NOTE: AWA members whose volunteer duties would require them to be in the classroom with students would require volunteer certification by the Albuquerque Public Schools. This certification will require a background check.
If you are interested in this opportunity and would like more information, please contact the following AWA Board members:
Russell Smith 505-249-0487 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Murray 317-903-4644 email@example.com