The Kyrene School District has been trying to incorporate new after-school programs to keep students intrigued, and the Community Education Road Crew has just the thing with a new sewing program.

The program is currently at five Kyrene elementary schools: Cielo, Sureno, Colina, Esperanza and Estrella.

It’s also offered at a few Kyrene middle schools such as Aprende.

Pete Flocken, who oversees the Community Education Road Crews, said the program was implemented in the district about a year ago as they hired experts in their field, or those with extensive backgrounds in a hobby that could be shared with students around the district.

The class is taught by Fariba Nowtash, who has an extensive background when it comes to teaching students a thing or two about the trade.

“We focused the positions on several different areas, with one of them being fine arts. We found Fariba, who has worked with us a while and she has had a passion for sewing. It has been a lifelong hobby for her, as well as having an educational background in it, so we have had her in this position and so far she has been to all of our schools,” Flocken said. “Right now, for the next six weeks, she will be at six of our sites.”

On a daily basis Nowtash overseas more than 40 kids during three-hour sessions after school, and teaches her students tricks of the trade.

She has been enjoying instructing her students and takes enjoyment from seeing them create something that is actually their own, with her goal focusing on connecting an old generation craft to a new generation.

“Seeing them all doing it is wonderful,” Nowtash said.

Currently, all her students are working on a long group project where they will be sewing their hand prints to be put together in one giant quilt.

Nowtash believes that working in a group setting not only assists them with learning how to properly sew, but also improves their social skills among peers.

Flocken added that the Community Education Road Crew has taught sewing to students in the past, but has never had an instructor with the skill sets of Nowtash.

“Having someone with her expertise is new to the program. We are excited to continue to open up more and more positions similar to this one where professionals and lifelong lovers of different hobbies can come in and share those gifts with the kids,” he said. “This is something that we are keeping on… there’s no end to this program in sight. We love the staff we have in these positions and the kids and the families that really have responded to this in a positive way. This is going to be a staple to our program.”

For more information about the Community Education Road Crew programs, visit

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