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Les Cockrell: Sowing Hope members return from trip to Tanzania

Out & About

Members of the group Sowing Hope are back from a trip to Tanzania to teach the methods and techniques of quilting at two trade schools near Mount Kilimanjaro.

You may recall reading about Denton quilters making plans for the trip in earlier columns. Some of the money for the project came from fundraisers and donations from local quilt guilds and residents.

The final list of participants included Hope Edwards, Elizabeth Kruger, Ernie and Barbara McGraw and James and Vicki Mulkey of Denton and Helen Edwards Matthews of Gettysburg, Pa., according to a press release.

The goal of Sowing Hope was to create opportunities for Tanzanian women to use their fabrics in quilted products for sale to tourists so they can earn additional income for their families, Edwards wrote in an e-mail.

Donations made it possible to purchase fabric and equipment for students to use in quilting classes, and donations of quilting equipment from area quilters were also distributed to the two schools.

“Thanks to all those that have supported Sowing Hope with donations of time, money and equipment,” Edwards stated.

The trip was supported in Tanzania and coordinated through a nongovernmental organization set up to help women develop skills that will help them earn money and support their families.

The first training session was at the Angaza Woman’s Center in Sanga Juu, Edwards stated. There were about 10 young women ages 13 through 16 in the quilting class. These students live at the center for approximately two years while learning the skill of tailoring, and quilting was a new skill for them.

The sewing machines at the center were treadle-operated, and one of the irons used was heated by charcoal, Edwards reported. Donation money was used to purchase another sewing machine and five irons.

The projects were led by Barb McCraw and supported by Vicki Mulkey, Kruger and Edwards. There was a language barrier, but pantomime, gestures and demonstrations were used to help communicate.

The second location was Usa River Rehabilitation Center, which housed physically impaired adults, provided trade school skills, as well as physical therapy and secondary schooling for those that qualified.

There were seven students in their third year of tailoring. These students were able to take the ideas from the Texas team and use their skills and local fabrics to create quilted wall hangings and table runners, Edwards stated.

Plans are now being made for another group to travel to Tanzania in the future. Anyone interested can contact the Denton Quilt Guild or call 469-693-6276 for information about future developments for Sowing Hope.


Science classes set for home-school students

The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area will offer natural science classes for home-school students at the second-grade through high school this fall, according to an announcement from Lisa Cole, education coordinator.

Students will participate in hands-on outdoor activities related to the theme of each class. The fee is $10 per class, or $35 for the whole series of four classes.

Scheduled classes are:

•  10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 6 — “Incredible Insects” will explore the fascinating lives of insects.

•  10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 8 — “Nature Quest” will incorporate history, biology, botany, ecology and more into a nature treasure hunt.

•  10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 25 — “Wet Wonders” will find students exploring a marsh with nets, microscopes and binoculars.

•  10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 8 — “Planting the Seeds,” for students in second through fifth grade, will offer a close examination of seeds and plant restoration.

•  10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 8 — “Nature CSI,” for students in sixth grade and above, will encourage kids to assume the roles of detectives, sketch artists, forensic photographers and technicians as they investigate a crime against nature.

To register, call 972-219-3930 or e-mail .

Participants should bring a sack lunch and a refillable water bottle, and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Parents may choose to attend with their students, or may drop students off after signing a waiver.

For more information, visit .


Agency to launch annual ‘Coats for Kids’ campaign

Interfaith Ministries of Denton Inc. will begin its annual “Coats for Kids” campaign Saturday, according to an announcement from the agency.

Only new and gently used coats will be accepted. Organizers said that all sizes of coats are needed to help keep youngsters warm this winter. The agency’s goal is to collect at least 500 coats, and the drive will continue through Oct. 14.

Donations can be delivered to 1109 N. Elm St. between 9 a.m. and noon and 4 and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. A collection box can be provided for local businesses, organizations or churches that would like to help with the drive, and Interfaith will pick up the donations. Call 940-453-4386 to make arrangements for a donation box.

Coats donated during the drive will be given to children on “Make a Difference Day, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, at Interfaith Ministries of Denton.

For more information about the drive, call 940-566-5927 or e-mail .


Hike and ranger talk planned Saturday

A guided hike and a ranger talk are planned Saturday at the Isle du Bois Unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

The guided hike will begin at 9 a.m. on the park’s Lost Pines Nature Trail.

The topic of the ranger talk, planned at 2 p.m. at the park’s interpretive center, will be “Animal Adaptations.”

The programs are free with regular park admission, which is $7 for individuals 12 and older. For more information, call 940-686-2148.

LES COCKRELL is interested in your input for Out & About. Help share information about Denton County events and people by calling him at 940-566-6887. His e-mail address is .