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Stories from our instructors

CCQ classroomCoffee Creek Quilters offers four two-hour quilting classes every week for women incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. For instructors, the classroom experience is so much more than teaching someone to quilt. We learn about our students’ lives and share our own life experiences. Our goal is to nurture students’ self-esteem, so that they will be more successful living in the community after release from prison.

We’ve started a new series of posts on our Facebook page where we share stories about our classroom experiences. We invite you to “like us” on our Facebook page for access to all of the stories in this ongoing series. Here’s the first one:

Stories from our instructors: #1

“I met with a former student today to give her a release kit. We enjoyed a good visit at the local coffee shop. During our conversation she told me about the refusal of some of her family members to reconcile and offer forgiveness even though she assured them that she wasn’t the same person she had been when she entered prison. To me she said “You’re the reason I’m a different person – you and a volunteer in religious services. I’m not changed because of the staff, the officers, or the State. I’m changed because of the volunteers who helped me see my better self.”

–Martha, instructor

CCQ featured in Homespun

The Coffee Creek Quilters prison quilting program was featured this month in the Australian crafting magazine Homespun. “Crafting with Conviction” shows how teaching handcrafts in jails and prisons can have a therapeutic effect.

In addition to our program, two others were also featured in the article.

Fine Cell Work operates in 31 prisons across England and Wales. They train men and women to do high quality, paid, creative needlework. Participants learn the skills in a group setting, then continue their projects in their cells.

The Australian Soft Toy Program and Sit and Knit are for community-based offenders who aren’t incarcerated. Volunteers teach participants to make toys, quilts, scarves, hats, jumpers, and blankets in a group setting. They learn new skills while improving social connections.

We invite you to read this excellent article.