Hop on Board the Woodworking Bus
I’ve written a few blogs about the decimation of school-based woodworking programs due to budget cuts and how various districts and volunteers are helping to keep programs alive. Here’s a story from California that’s pretty neat.
An organization of artists, SideStreetProjects, has built 10 mobile woodworking shops for kids out of former transit buses. The program, started in 1997 to counter the reduction of woodworking and arts programs in Los Angeles County schools, has given more than 15,000 kids a chance to try their hand at woodworking. The buses are equipped with 10 adjustable-height workstations to accommodate children 5 to 11 years old. Each station has various tools and materials for the kids to make their projects (white pine is the wood of choice).
The goal of the woodworking bus is “to teach children how to use tools safely, effectively and (ultimately) independent of adult assistance. Kids make a variety of projects that increase in complexity as they progress through the program. After only a few sessions on the bus, kids are confident and competent enough to create projects of their own unique design.”
To get a glimpse into what happens on the bus, check out the video. For more information on the bus and the SideStreetProjects organization in general, visit their website.