By Corky Mau
For their students, summer means woodshop
For the past two years, Pocket residents Chris and Blythe Antrim haven’t taken a long summer vacation from their work. Some of their students have moved off campus to the Antrims’ garage, which has been transformed into a woodworking shop called Teacher’s Addition.
The lesson plan is designed to keep unwanted furniture out of the landfill. Students hone their creativity, carpentry and math skills as they refinish old furniture.
The Antrims teach at Rosemont High School. Blythe instructs English and drama. Chris teaches in the school’s Engineering, Construction and Design Academy, a program that partners with local construction companies. “At one time, our classrooms were next door to each other. Over time, our professional relationship evolved. We married in 2016,” Blythe says.
The Teacher’s Addition began as a COVID-19 project. The name is a play off textbooks known as the Teacher’s Edition. The mission: Give new life to discarded furniture and entice the community to buy local.
An early piece was an old bench from an East Sacramento home. The owner loved the new look so much she encouraged the Antrims to do more. Now interested students assist. The most requested furniture piece is a children’s dresser that resembles Lego blocks.
“The effort is time consuming, but so rewarding,” Chris says. “We enjoy teaching students practical skills, both in the construction world and in their daily lives. Many kids start with zero knowledge of painting, sanding, varnishing, etc. There’s a sense of pride on their faces when they look at their finished piece.” Students often keep the refinished furniture.
The Antrims aren’t just educators. They’re role models who motivate teens outside and inside the classroom. They aim to impart life skills—talents that pay dividends long after high school.
“A majority of the used furniture is donated to us through word of mouth and NextDoor. This project helps us stay connected to our students and our community,” Blythe says.
After meeting the couple, I gave the Antrims two old trunks from my garage. My only request was that they donate the refurbished pieces to families who need furniture.
You can find Teacher’s Addition on Facebook and Instagram. Instead of tossing your old furniture, consider donating to the program. For more information, email email@example.com.
August nights mean it’s time to cool off with music from a Sacramento favorite, the Vivian Lee Quartet. Lee is a vocalist specializing in jazz standards from Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Antonio Carlos Jobim and more.
A free concert is Friday, Aug. 19, from 6–8 p.m. at Garcia Bend Park. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. If you don’t bring a picnic, food trucks will be on hand from 5–8 p.m. The event is part of the summer Trucks & Such sponsored by City Council member Rick Jennings.
Robbie Waters Library offers another fun workshop as part of the Summer Art Series. Participants create in pastels Wednesday, Aug. 10. The class is open to all ages starting at 2 p.m. Supplies are provided. Bring your imagination. No registration or art experience necessary.
The Pocket-Greenhaven Community Association’s annual meeting will be held Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 6 p.m. at Robbie Waters Library. It’s a big meeting. Officers will be elected.
Corky Mau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.