Art Class Empowers Middle-Schoolers and Fosters Community Service

By MJ Vieweg

Staff Writer

Mia Ottesen is not only teaching her students creative and artistic techniques in her middle school art class in Kodiak, Alaska but also some life skills which they used to provide their community homeless shelter with needed items.

The students in Ms. Ottesen’s art classes learned basic sewing skills including measuring and cutting and also crocheting. The $100 grant from Start A bought crochet hooks, thread and fleece and fabric for the blankets and hats.

The initial project was making blankets and hats for the local homeless shelter to distribute.

When the students delivered 22 blankets to the Brother Francis Homeless Shelter in Kodiak, they saw first-hand how they were able to help others in their community.

“Instead of only teaching kids how to make pinch pots or Kaleidoscopes, I wanted them to see they can make something that will benefit the community and themselves. The kids will benefit from learning a useful skill, while helping to solve a problem in our community,” Ottesen said. “They learn how to be givers instead of takers.”

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