Thursday, February 17, 2011

Apology of Action

ON Wednesday nights, I volunteer at the women's shelter, teaching women to quilt. The program was started by the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and is staffed by volunteers from our local guild, the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association. We have a good time and the participants have made many quilts, some of which will be on display at the guild show on the weekend of March 5-6th.

Last night we were joined by two boys. A first. They were eager to learn and decided to make a quilt for a new boy cousin who's expected to arrive soon. They picked strips from our buckets of donated pieces and got down to work. At the end of the night, they insisted on taking home their half-completed block to show another brother. Their enthusiasm was exciting.

They knew about quilts because of a program at school called Apology of Action. Everyone in class made a block out of paper and the teacher taped them together. When someone hurts you or hurts your feelings, you can present them with the quilt and ask for an Apology of Action. The idea is to tell the offender what he or she did, and find a suitable way for them to make amends. You could for example ask them to write out "JoJo is not a smelly loser like I said" a hundred times.

The idea is that apologies are sometimes not enough. The offender must make amends as well. Put a little meat behind the usual "I'm sorry."

I love the fact that in this school a quilt is used to make it easier to approach a classmate who has hurt your feelings. Quilts by their nature can smooth over a lot of rough edges.

And I love that these kids are being taught that a simple apology is sometimes not enough.

Anyone you'd like an Apology of Action from?


Camille Minichino said...

I might owe a few!

This is a wonderful project, Terri.

Becky Levine said...

Love this post.

My son's 5th grade class made a quilt for the auction (this is a tradition at his school). The boys might have started out a little more cautiously/reluctantly, but by the time they got to pick out the art & colors for their square they were pretty much as on board as the girls. It was fun to see. :)

And, yes, I love the understanding that sometimes an apology takes an action.

Terri Thayer said...

It's fun for all of us, Camille.

I love how quilts have become a part of many schools' fundraising efforts. Boys like to play with color and design too. And a sewing machine is a machine, after all.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Like Camille, I think there are amends I have yet to make. I've tried, but I'm not sure I've always done enough. What a lovely idea this is. I particularly like the thought that we CAN be forgiven. Thanks for sharing this, Terri.

Anglers Rest said...

Great that the kids are learning such values and learning a great skill.

Terri Thayer said...

With all the news about bullying, it's nice to hear about something positive in our schools, isn't it?

Betty Hechtman said...

Terri, your volunteering is a wonderful way to share your talents. I think hand work helps those who do it and those who get the end products.

Terri Thayer said...

I'm just having fun, Betty. Nice when that overlaps with helping others.

I'd guess we all believe crafts help keep us sane.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Too bad nothing like that existed when I was in junior high, Terri. Love the concept!