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Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged

Help Bring a Woodworking Studio for Kids to San Francisco

The Butterfly Joint from key&kite on Vimeo.

Woodshops for Kids

Most of us grew up taking a woodshop class in school. We probably built a sweet little birdhouse or created a keepsake box for all of those notes we used to pass in class. In addition to learning how to safely hammer a nail and the difference between a Phillips and flat-head screwdriver, we learned how to think in three dimensions, creatively problem solve without a provided set of instructions, and most importantly, what it feels like to create something from nothing, with our own two hands. Sadly, the school woodshop has gone the way of the art class and the orchestra—schools have dropped it in the face of slashed budgets and a greater emphasis on test taking. And while private art and music classes have proliferated in San Francisco, no one has stepped up to fill the void the abandoned wood shop left behind… until now.

The Butterfly Joint

A former kindergarten teacher wants to arm kids with saws. Not to mention chisels, mallets, and sandpaper. The Butterfly Joint is the dream project of Danny Montoya, a talented woodworker and San Francisco teacher with more than 15 years of experience in the classroom. He hopes to revive the wood shop as a place where kids, ages 4 and up, learn not just the ins and outs of cutting, sanding, hammering and assembling, but the value of working with their hands and creating something from scratch. In today’s tech-focused world, it’s more important than ever that our children learn that everything is designed and built by somebody, and that the skills that go into creating the latest app—focus, problem-solving, resilience, determination and responsibility—are the same skills that they learn in the wood shop.

The Butterfly Joint, which will offer classes, workshops, summer camps and more, is on the verge of making a woodworking studio for kids in San Francisco a reality. Montoya is in the final 3 weeks of a crowd-funding campaign to raise the $50,000 needed to get the doors open. Watch the video above to find out more about the workshop and the campaign, then click over to their site to find out how you can help (rewards for pledging include everything from classes to custom, kiddie-sized work aprons and gloves). Montoya is excited to bring back the magic of the wood shop and open it up to kids in the community.