We were pleased to highlight our work to boost students with special needs and teachers in our recent Back to School update. Project Knitwell is grateful for our grant partnership with Bowling Green State University in Ohio to help teachers and students in rural schools learn to knit in their school communities. Our grant partnership is leveraging programming that helps build relationships and reduce stress as a way of supporting school safety.
Professor Kristina LaVenia reports:
“The teachers and staff learning to knit improved their personal mental health while building stronger connections and relationships between school community members. Helping school personnel focus on finding time to recharge with their knitting is a wonderful self-care practice. This is a wonderful opportunity to help high school students in a rural district, who often lack transportation, meet their community service graduation requirements. Students can knit for charity as one way to earn their diplomas. We look forward to expanding this work under the current grant and also exploring other opportunities for research projects moving forward.”
What began as an outreach program with the University of Delaware Nursing Program to help nursing students understand the researched benefits of knitting has now expanded to include teachers in rural schools in Ohio and more nursing students, faculty, and alumni at the University of Pennsylvania.
This month we kicked off a five part series with the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing program to create a wellness program for over 100 nursing alumni, students, and faculty members. In this affinity group there are new and experienced knitters learning more about why knitting is beneficial to their well being and creating community amongst those facing similar circumstances in the healthcare field. You can also watch or share the introductory session video. We are thankful for our partners at Penn Nursing for helping us connect with more caring nurses facing unprecedented challenges.
We continued to connect with more caregivers to help prevent compassion fatigue and burnout at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital during their Wellness Fair sponsored by the Arts and Humanities (AHP) program. We hosted an outreach table to connect more doctors, nurses, and staff to our online Knitwell in the Cloud program on their own time and AHP Artists in Residence Carol Caparosa and Lauren Brennan taught a dozen new knitters on site during the fair.