Woodcraft Supports American Association of Woodturners Youth Program

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Youth Program

Woodcraft and other industry and individual sponsors helped 41 young people learn woodturning at the American Association of Woodturners International Symposium held in Atlanta in June. Woodcraft donated 25 face shields for the program.

Five well-known woodturners instructed the youth at the 2016 symposium in turning wood into yo-yos, ice cream scoopsChristmas ornaments, candlesticks, garden trowels, spinning tops, ring holders and vases. In addition to their turned pieces, 25 youth took home a complete turning package that included a mini lathe with stand, face shield, chuck, tool turning set plus two other turning tools, and a safety drive. Winners were chosen in a drawing of names of youth who participated in at least one youth turning rotation.

According to Jeff Brockett, chair of the symposium, the youth program was born when AAW members saw the need for hands-on opportunities for youth. “They made the decision to start the Youth Training Program in an attempt to get young people interested in the craft of woodturning.”

The Youth Program has been part of the symposium since 2005 and is open to youth 10-18 who have a registered adult attending the symposium. There are 8-10 class rotations, and youth can register for two. There is no limit to the number of participants, and no prior woodturning experience is required. Turning pieces created by the youth are displayed in the youth turning area and in the AAW Instant Gallery.

“Support for the AAW Youth Program fits perfectly into Woodcraft’s ongoing efforts to provide educational opportunities and one-on-one guidance to woodworkers of all skill levels,” president Jody Garrett said. “Woodcraft is pleased to be part of this program that encourages young people to learn woodturning.”

Since the AAW Youth Program began, Woodcraft has donated almost 300 face shields, which are used for the classes and the turning packages. “There is an increased emphasis on instilling a strong safety attitude with these young woodturners, and a face shield is a critical part of what we like to send home with them,” Brockett said.

Woodcraft also supported another program held in connection with the symposium – the Lighthouse for the Blind Program designed to give the visually impaired an opportunity to participate in a hands-on rotation.

“A local visually impaired program is identified in the symposium host city,” Brockett said.  “Local volunteers assist with getting a turning program up and running after the symposium. The local Lighthouse for the Blind program receives one complete turning package from AAW.” The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) in Atlanta was selected to participate in the 2016 symposium. Woodcraft provided a face shield for the turning package given to ABVI.

For more about the American Association of Woodturners, visit www.woodturner.org. 

To find a woodturning class at a Woodcraft store near you, click here.

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