Sawtooth at LEAD Girls Rising Expo

Sawtooth Youth Activity

by Ali Kapps

At the LEAD Girls Rising Expo on Sept. 28th, Sawtooth’s focus was providing a makerspace where the LEAD principle of awareness was addressed for. LEAD is an acronym for Learning Everyday Accomplishing Dreams. As an organization, they focus on principles that will build our girls up and prepare them to RISE to their potential. Through exploring solutions we are able to make better decisions. Thinking about how we navigate certain personal situations ahead of time, how we would like to react, we can better lead with our actions.

The girls were asked hypothetical questions like:
+ If you procrastinate on a school project, what might the repercussions be?
+ When working with classmates on a team project but one person isn’t doing their part, do you talk behind their back or approach them offering help or understanding of their situation?
+ At home, do you help take the load off of your caregivers by helping out around the house so you have more time to spend together?
+ When a sibling is having a hard time and is bothering you, do you yell at them to get away or do you recognize they might feel lonely and need a hug or encouraging word?
How can you turn this moment into a moment you can lead?

Our art activity involved large looms handmade by Eddie Fitzgerald, the Director of our Wood Studio. Girls were asked to think of how they respond to the world around them, what leads them everyday. They were given the choice to pick a colored strip of fabric which became their “story-cloths.” They were then asked to write their answers down-free form or in poem form- and they had the option to draw it rather than write. We acknowledged the large looms in the room and discussed that each of their answers would be woven into what would become a much larger tapestry- each is a significant part to the whole- without their part, the whole or community wouldn’t be as tight or the same. Girls had the option of weaving their fabric so their writing/art was visible or by twisting the fabric, their story would be private but still there and contributing to the whole.

It was amazing to see the girls work through some of the scenarios, to hear the conversations in started between them- and then to see them respond to the weaving part of the project. Some girls actually wanted to stand and share their words with their group- we saw some strong leaders, inspiring confidence in public speaking, and creativity that continues to spark something the next person!

Our tapestry turned out organic in form, not linear like the strips of fabric provided. its colorful and spunky, just like its creators. It’s inspiring to think of the power that lies in the hands of our youth individually but also when they come together!