Students learn to sew through Orlando Public Library program

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - It's something many students used to learn in home economics class, but many schools have now eliminated sewing from the curriculum.

If picking up a needle and thread interests your child, you can still check out the It's Sew Easy program at the Orlando Public Library.

"I think we see kids and they're home and they're on their devices and sometimes we don't necessarily see them being very creative. So when they attend a class and they create something and they walk out with that, not only are they proud, but I think their parents are proud as well," said Tony Orengo, the library's instructional technology specialist.

On the library's second floor, there is a state-of-the-art sewing studio with rows of sewing machines buzzing as an instructor's machine is displayed on a video screen.

Students are beginners, and at the end of the week, they'll leave with a tote bag. Student Sara Michelle Kyle says she found the class a little challenging at first but quickly caught on.

"I'm so astonished that I'm going to make a tote bag out of fabric because I've never done that before," she said.

Kyle said stepping away from her devices is a good feeling and more children should try it.

"Get up from your phone and, like, do something and look in the real world that can actually help you along the way in your life instead of looking at a phone," Kyle said.

Jasmynne Gibson, 12, agrees.

"At first, when I came, I didn't think this would be that fun. But since I tried it, it actually turned out to be really fun. Try something new. Don't sit at home and be lazy," she said.

The library's sewing studio is funded by the Mayor's Matching Grant Program. Sewing classes are offered year round and are free of charge for anyone who has a library card.
 

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