Students in Laurie and Sabrina’s third grade class welcomed a very special guest to their classroom this spring. Jennetta Bourne, a current Saint Ann’s grandparent, visited to speak about her mother, Nettie Young, the accomplished artist from the Gee’s Bend Quilting Collective. Jennetta was incredibly gracious and held everyone’s attention with her reflections of growing up in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. She shared two quilts with the class, and students crafted their own “Thank You” quilt for Jennetta to show their appreciation.
Jennetta’s visit was part of the students’ broader exploration of textiles and fiber arts, and of family, ancestry, and the grandeur of simple objects. Students learned about the history of Gee’s Bend and the Freedom Quilting Bee—the journey of women creating their own way despite adversity to share their vision and support themselves and their community. They investigated the power of quilting—of weaving together stories and strands. Lastly, they questioned how to tell the story of themselves and their world, stitch by stitch.