Hospital Outreach Program
Our club has partnered with Children's Hospital in Seattle since January, 1980 to bring lapidary fun to patients eight and older. Tumbled stones, mounted rough cabochons and hand polishing equipment are provided for the children to make into polished gems. Any stone that takes a good polish can be used but the favorites include sodalite, tigereye, turritella and bloodstone. Club members go to the hospital once a week for two hours on Tuesdays to assist the children to polish stones in a four-step process. A modified "Lortone stroker" method progresses from 280 grit to tin oxide. An average of six children attends per session. We estimate that over the years 6,600 cabochons and 1,100 pounds of tumbled stone have been worked on as a result of this project.
Children's Orthopedic Hospital is a 250-bed hospital. Many of these children are there for extended stays of 12 months or more. This program provides a great diversion from the typical hospital environment. We are constantly amazed with the attention and effort these children demonstrate when working their stones. Some of the children have become interested in the books we have on hand to study mineralogy.
The children are very enthusiastic and experience satisfaction in their accomplishment. This activity has become an important part of the hospital's post operation care program. One year we had a second-generation patient, a mother brought in a child saying she worked on stones in her childhood. So much interest has been expressed in this project by siblings and guests of patients that all juniors present can participate.
A video that describes the program is available on loan to other organizations. Our club will assist anyone who would like to start up a program in other hospitals or children's organizations.
In addition to the Children's Hospital program, our club annually gives a scholarship to a person that attends a local school and is studying geology or earth science. In return for the scholarship, all we ask is that the recipient provides a 20 to 30 minute presentation at one of our club meetings. We have been doing this since 1969.
One of the purposes of the NSLMC is to advance the study and enjoyment of Geology in our community. For the past 40 years, the NSLMC has awarded a cash scholarship to a declared Earth Sciences major, studying at a 4-year college/university in Washington State.
The applicants are reviewed on academic merit, demonstrated participation in extracurricular activities such as University, public and/or community service, potential for a successful career in the field of Geology and need for financial assistance. The chosen student typically receives $2,500.00 after a presentation to the club, becomes an honorary member of the NSLMC, receives a free monthly copy of the NSLMC newsletter “Rocky Trails” and is welcome to attend all NSLMC field trips, workshops and meetings.
Awarding an annual scholarship is an ambitious project, one enthusiastically supported by all of the members. The fund is generated by club activities throughout the year that are earmarked for the fund. Generous in-kind and monetary donations are gratefully received by the club and, ultimately, by the recipient.
The students have been enormously appreciative, using the cash for tuition or required honors research. When the student gives a presentation to our club, it is enjoyed by all but especially by our juniors age 4 to 14 – who might be inspired to continue the study of Geology in college.
If you would like more information about applying for this scholarship contact the club: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raeanne Fay Wolfey
All information presented in this website is for provided for educational purposes.
Copyright 2015 North Seattle Lapidary & Mineral Club