Miami Culture Maven: I was able to catch up with Enchanted Jewelz owner Felicia Woods this past Kwanzaa and was ecstatic to hear about her new Enchanted Bead Buddies free beading program for children. Happy New Year Felecia! Tell me more about this free programming for the youth!
Felicia Woods: Same to you Tracy, great to see you. So I know you're wondering how & when I started this new free beading program and truthfully, it goes back to when I was in elementary school. My Aunt subscribed my sister and I to a monthly science & wild life club that came with two boxes, one for specimen organization & one for fun informative facts. I used to anticipate that monthly surprise with all eagerness and before I knew it, I was always excited about learning something new! I had that box for at least twenty years.
MCM: I know excatly what you mean, my favorite was receiving Highlights magazine in the mail page 14 to be precise!
FW: So you understand the importance of turning education into a fun activity! Now before I thought about the mailing idea, I was actually thinking about driving my van around Sistrunk to pick up inner city youth and go to the park for a beading lesson. Definitely had to rethink that! Do you know how much liability insurance I would need to cover myself in case of an emergency? Plus, my van can only hold 6 children so I started brainstorming & the nostalgia hit me. Mailing was the way to go.
MCM: That's awesome Felicia. So what exactly comes in the mail for the children who are signed up for the program?
FW: The Enchanted Bead Buddies participants receive a bead organizer, beads, stringing materials, information on subjects not frequently explored in school & instructions for how to assemble their beading project.
MCM: What types of subjects do you focus on?
FW: Beading packets your child receives is centered around a different educational theme each month focusing on subjects that are not frequently explored in elementary school such as space exploration, wildlife and inventors to name a few.
MCM: Wow, sounds like you're on a mission!
FW: Definitely, there are too many schools in urban communities that have removed art programs and that alone has created a huge disadvantage for our children. One of the requsities of Enchanted Bead Buddies is that the child's school does not provide an art class.
MCM: How are you funding this venture? Seems like it could get costly
FW: That's exactly why I have sponsors. It only costs $9 per month to sponsor a child from our waiting list. We have big goals and we need the community's support to help shape the next generation. Our goal is to attain 300 sponsors by the end of the month.
MCM: Where can we go to sign up as a sponsor?
FW: Please visit www.EnchantedBeadBuddies.com to sponsor a child and for more info about the program itself.
MCM: That's phenomenal Felicia, I'm so proud to see you giving back to the community in a way that shows our children that we support them and encourage them. I wish you all the best and will be sponsoring a child very soon!
FW: Thanks for your continued support and I hope you enjoy the gemstones :)
MCM: You know I do!