By Tiffany Hanna
Spring is here and what better way to usher in a new season than to get crafty with the community… and concrete!
As the 50 Plus staff at Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD) continues to offer virtual programs, the staff and people served at Papercrete Works are busy learning marketable job skills while producing some impressive products from a material known as Papercrete, a mixture of concrete
and recycled paper.
The production of this material and selling the products it creates, allows these individuals to learn skills such as marketing, sorting, time management, merchandising, computer skills, customer service, production processes and far more.
Papercrete Works is a program of Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS) that creates community-integrated employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A recent grant from Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, aimed at providing community engagement to aging adults through virtual programming, allowed JCDS to collaborate with JCPRD 50 Plus in a unique way.
This summer 50 Plus will offer two craft courses using products produced and provided free of charge by the individuals at Papercrete Works as part of the grant fund allocation. As part of their work skills training on leading virtual classes, they’ll provide instruction and a video tutorial of their process to the patrons of 50 Plus as well as various other programs in the Johnson County area.
At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 18, patrons can attend a free virtual tutorial on how to stain and seal papercrete, meet the individuals behind the Papercrete Works operation, and create a Royals garden or porch sign of their very own.
At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 15, 50 Plus patrons can attend a free virtual program by a K-State Extension Master Gardener on how to make a fairy garden. The first 45 people to register for this program can stay on Zoom with 50 Plus and Papercrete Works after the K-State Extension’s presentation for a craft-along.
The 45 participants will receive in advance a free desktop fairy garden vessel provided by Papercrete Works, to decorate and seal under the direction of the individuals served in the program. Later, they can fill it on their own, using the techniques they learned from the Master Gardeners.
Start spring off right with 50 Plus by enjoying an engaging hour of crafting, while taking an insightful look at a local program creating opportunities for individuals to live and work in a more inclusive community. All craft supplies will be provided free to participants and will be available for pick up at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse, 9101 Nall Ave., Prairie Village, prior to each of the programs
Registration is limited and registration deadlines apply to both programs. To learn more about Papercrete Works visit papercreteworks-com.3dcartstores.com. For more information about these free courses or to register by phone, call Tiffany Hanna at 913-826-2833. To enroll online, visit jcprd.com/50plusvirtual.
Tiffany Hanna is the 50 Plus travel coordinator for Johnson County Park and Recreation District.