Co-op teaches art, helps parents gain new skills

Weekly activities for children held every Tuesday morning



Children make cosmic suncatchers by pouring a white, liquid glue onto a container lid and then swirling in food coloring to create a marble like pattern on Tuesday morning at the Moscow Food Co-op.

CAROLYNN CLAREY, Evergreen reporter and photojournalist

For 15 years the Moscow Food Co-op has hosted family-friendly activities for a group called Co-op Kids. This week’s featured activity was creating a cosmic suncatcher.

Cosmic suncatchers are discs placed in front of a window, these ones being made of glue and food dye, to show colored sunlight within a space.

Parents and their children went to the event in order to socialize with other people and learn how to make easy at-home crafts. Melissa Snow, a parent turned volunteer, started going to events to meet with other parents.

Melissa Snow, a volunteer with Co-op Kids, talks about how the program helps children and parents make new friends on Tuesday morning at the Moscow Food Co-op.

“I loved coming here with my kids,” Snow said. “You get to meet new people with moms like you.”

There is no need to sign up for activities and it is entirely free. The co-op also provides supplies. Parents can walk right into the activity and immediately get to work with their kids.

The activity is run by a group of volunteers directed by the Co-op Volunteer Coordinator Willow Venzke and Max Newland, member of the co-op’s marketing department. In order to become a volunteer, people must become an owner of the co-op by paying a $10 fee, Venzke said.

“It’s totally informal. You can just walk in at any time,” Venzke said. “You can come once, you can come every Tuesday for 10 years in a row.”

The co-op also runs a parent group called Mamas and Papas. This group was created in order to help people with younger children learn some tips and tricks for being a parent. They are taught why it is important to not only care for their children but also themselves along with how to make some inexpensive gifts for their kids, Newland said.

Co-op Kids run activities every Tuesday from 9-10:00 a.m. Activities vary from week to week, depending on what the volunteers want to do, Venzke said. Mamas and Papas group meets every first Monday of the month from 9:30-11 a.m.