Quilt-Making Teaches Students about World Cultures

Here's How Quilt-making Teaches Students About World Cultures

A former teacher is responsible for creating an educational project for US students to make quilts and send them to needy children in other countries. Let's check out more...
HobbyZeal Staff
Last Updated: Sep 14, 2018
Patchwork Quil
When a teacher wants to help students learn about world cultures while helping them to gain an appreciation for the differences we have, there is no better way than through the 'More Than Warmth Quilt Project'. The program was launched by Judith Meeker in 2002.
Meeker, a Tennessee teacher, founded the organization as a non-profit educational initiative, whereby, children in the United States would design and craft quilts to be sent to needy children in countries around the world. So far, the project has sent more than 1,000 quilts to community organizations located in more than 20 different countries.
Teachers merge the quilt project with other programs for students to learn about other cultures. The project is integrated into the curriculum of the school, and is backed by instructional material such as lesson plans, all of which are available from the More Than Warmth website.
The program is designed to foster knowledge, understanding, and compassion between different cultures through nonpolitical and nonreligious endeavors. While students develop an awareness of cultures in other countries, they also learn more about areas that are riddled with strife and daily conflicts.
The More Than Warmth Quilt Project gives students an opportunity to make a positive change in the world by helping people. Students design, sew, and mail quilts to schools, day cares, street children, schools for the deaf and blind, hospitals, and orphanages. They also write letters to include with the quilts.
Parents, school staffers, and community groups often join in on the project, by raising money for supplies and helping out with making the quilts. Children are encouraged to design each quilt square, so that the message of friendship and peace is clearly spoken without references to politics, war, or religion.
Each square is bordered with colorful cloth, and the squares are sewn together into a completed quilt. Every square in the quilt is accompanied by a handwritten letter from the child who designed that square.
The first delivery of quilts and letters from children working with the project were delivered to a friendship center located in Kabul, Afghanistan. The letters included with the quilts were translated and read to hundreds of children who were touring the center at the time.
A cultural center located in Bethlehem later displayed a quilt they had received, along with a poem that talked about peace in the Middle East.
When they were learning about the civil wars throughout Africa, students in East Nashville sewed quilts to be sent to various areas in Africa, acknowledging the violence there, and the need for changes to be made in their own neighborhoods.
Students of all ages are encouraged to participate in the More Than Warmth Quilt Project, and teachers and administrators are invited to visit the website to download instructional material and more information about the project.