by Kay Mollica, AmeriCorps member on the State Street Foundation team with Higginson/Lewis K-8 School

“This is hard, Ms. Kay, but I think I can get it.” Music to the ears of an educator! My weekly Lunch Buddies group learned the very tactile and difficult to grasp (literally) skill of single-stitch crocheting. Building up rigor in the hands of my students directly strengthens their ability to train their bodies to learn universally necessary reading and writing skills. I always aim to empower the youth I interact with, especially now within my AmeriCorps year. I saw their minds buzzing and their imaginations whirring with every stitch, loop, and cross as I would hear different students say: “I’m going to make a scarf for my mom for Mother’s Day!” “I already am good at it; I can come over and help you.” “Soon I can make a pair of gloves!”

A fellow teammate was with a student in her class in our team space while we were learning our craft and my group was kind enough to include him in the fun. I could tell my group that this is EXACTLY what inclusivity looks, feels, and sounds like. Through crocheting, my students learned that applying yourself until you master something feels awesome and does not have to be done solo.

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