Kids craft durable Valentine’s Day gifts at Midway Library

See why the art teacher says classes like these are more than just entertaining pastimes; you’ll be surprised at the skills these tots learn …

Art instructor Kathy Karbo shows us her heart – one of the many Valentine’s Day versions she’s teaching the kids to make at the library workshop.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Families are finding more than books and “story-times” at Midland Library these days. “We bring in artists who are good at teaching crafts to young people,” said the administrator, Javier Gutierrez when we visited just before Valentine’s Day.

“Copper Wire Hearts” is what artist Kathleen Karbo called the workshop she was leading. “We’re teaching kids how to create a one-of-a-kind Valentine, using copper wire, pipe cleaners, and colorful beads and ornaments.”

Bones and Zola Thomas say they’re having a great time learning new skills while they make keepsakes.

“The arts give kids the chance to make all kinds of new connections,” Karbo told us after a demonstration segment. “This is how we learn to use our hands, make things, and make choices.”

Hidden in the fun activities, kids are learning about shapes and textures. “And, they develop their eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills,” explained Karbo. “We take a two-dimensional idea, and help them make something that is three-dimensional.”

Kathleen Karbo gives Kristine Gipe and Colby personal instruction at a craft table.

“Even more, they’re also practicing listening skills, and learning how to be part of the community, and sharing tools,” Karbo pointed out. “And, working with tools is one of the important skills are skills that aren’t often taught. We’re giving children a safe way to learn to handle hammers, players, and needle-nose pliers.”

All this – and the kids got to take home special Valentine’s Day gifts, too.

What are you missing out on at your outer East Portland library? Check the East Portland News Community Calendar to find out: CLICK HERE to open that page.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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