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Silver Kite class inspires retired teachers to spread cheer
March 1, 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has delivered some silver linings during the past year.
One silver lining has been Silver Kite arts and crafts classes.
WEA-Retired members met by Zoom to make holiday cards for Meals on Wheels recipients.
Sno-Isle Libraries brought Silver Kite classes online in July 2020. Word spread and customers quickly fell in love with them.
Jeanne Bartlett, a retired teacher and certified mediator who now runs Faraone Mediation Services in Marysville, discovered Silver Kite classes last year and became a big fan.
“I would really like to thank the library for bringing us Silver Kite classes during COVID. It has been such a positive resource for so many people – children to seniors,” Bartlett wrote to Sno-Isle Libraries staff.
She wanted to share her story.
Bartlett belongs to Pilchuck WEA-Retired, the local chapter of retired Washington Education Association members.
“Pilchuck WEA-Retired has always participated in a give-back event in December,” Bartlett said. “We knew we wanted to focus on seniors who were isolated by COVID or a lack of family connections. We also wanted to keep our members safe while providing a way to work together on an activity that would help to alleviate loneliness and isolation for seniors in our community.”
The group decided to make pop-up cards to go with Meals on Wheels holidays dinners for isolated seniors.
Recalling her Silver Kite class, Bartlett contacted Silver Kite about the possibility of hiring one of their instructors to lead a class just for Pilchuck WEA-Retired. Silver Kite agreed.
“We contracted with one of their presenters, Suzie Treinen, to teach a Zoom class on making pop-up cards,” Bartlett said. “Pilchuck WEA-Retired paid for this class. Suzie joined us in our ‘give-back’ by providing the class at a reduced fee.”
Bartlett spread the word and invited other WEA-Retired chapters from around the state to join the project.
“What fun we all had as we learned some cardmaking techniques,” she said. “With much laughter, collaboration, conviviality and a little frustration, we cut and folded paper to make these holiday-themed cards.”
With Treinen’s online guidance, the retired teachers made dozens of cards. Homage (Senior Services of Snohomish County) received many of the cards to hand out with the holiday meals.
“WEA-Retired members across the state donated time, materials, labor, outstanding creativity and perseverance so that dozens and dozens of pop-up cards were delivered in these meals,” Bartlett said.
She said some WEA-Retired members elsewhere in the state delivered cards to their local Meals on Wheels programs or donated their cards to other local senior facilities.
“Creating these one-of-a-kind cards was a wonderful way to work together and provide seniors a cheerful connection during the holiday season,” Bartlett said.
All Silver Kite workshops offered through Sno-Isle Libraries have been recorded and are available to view at silverkite.us/sno-isle. The password is sil2020. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see what’s available.
The recordings include everything from painting, drawing, writing and acting to making Indian sweets and Bollywood dance, said Sno-Isle Libraries Programming Services Coordinator Anne Murphy. There are several dementia-friendly offerings.
“With the Silver Kite recordings online, people can access them at a time that’s convenient for them, 24/7,” Murphy said.
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