December 2017 Newsletter: Community Engagement—Shaker Makers Build Relationships and Gingerbread Homes

gingerbread housesVisit the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Glow holiday exhibit before December 31 and see three gingerbread houses on display designed by the Shaker Makers, a group of multi-age, multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-talented kids from Shaker Schools and the Design Lab Early College High School in Cleveland.

Shaker parent and a Shaker Makers founder Julie Kaufman says she the impact Shaker Makers has on participants goes beyond the tangibles, like the gingerbread houses. “It reminds me of what amazing things can happen when different people come together,” she says. A total of 15 students from both schools spent six hours over three days constructing the houses.

The Shaker Makers originally started as a after-school Fernway club two years ago, then grew beyond the school walls in an effort to create connections and foster friendships among students from a variety of cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds. The group has a broader goal to strengthen the Shaker community through these connections and friendships that begin with our youngest residents.

“Shaker Makers is an intentional way of bringing people together. These kinds of things might start off feeling inauthentic, but we have to start somewhere,” says Ms. Kaufman. “And if that means putting people together who otherwise wouldn’t have crossed paths, then that’s the intentionality of it and then that’s how we start building relationships.”

For more information on Shaker Makers, email Julie Kaufman.

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