Cards from Africa
About a month ago I had the honor of leading ISK’s first field trip. There were only four of us, and it only lasted about two and a half hours, but it was a field trip nonetheless!
Cards from Africa is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that employs orphans and child head-of-households to make hand-made greeting cards, completely from local businesses’ paper waste. I think it really empowers the kids and I’m proud to own two of their journals and have sent a few of their cards across the world.
However, that wasn’t the reason for the field trip. As I was preparing my lesson on Chinese inventions and technology for my 8th grade history class, I just couldn’t shake the notion that somewhere I’d seen the very method of paper-making I was reading about. I was right – last year we visited CfA and it turns out that their method of making paper is almost exactly the same method the ancient Chinese invented thousands of years ago during the Han dynasty. Cool, eh?
So we drove to the site just on the edge of town, filtered watery paper muck through boxes fitted with wire screens, pressed the excess water from the pulp with sponges, and then attached our beautiful sheets of handmade paper onto plates of glass to dry. We didn’t get to actually take home the paper we made because of the drying time (2 – 4 hours in hot weather, and it wasn’t that hot) but we got the experience and made a “real life” connection.
And that’s what teaching is all about, right? I think so. Here’s to more fun-filled field trips at ISK!