140 Water St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022
So, how do you teach teenagers teamwork, focus, patience and trust? Well in Benton Harbor, they’re doing it with fire and ice. Water Street Glassworks is a very unique educational and exhibit space that offers an award-winning after school program called “Fired Up.” This program gives teens the skills they need to create, develop, survive and thrive in today’s world.
They do it by helping kids develop skills in the fire arts. They learn how to blow and cast molten glass, weld and hammer metal, form glass beads over a torch and create stained glass and mosaics. At the same time, the kids learn responsibility, teamwork and focus, not to mention the fact that they are developing an artistic skill. And research has shown that one of the best ways to help teens mature and grow emotionally and intellectually is through artistic expression.
Water Street Glassworks also teaches these young people how to run a business from top to bottom with their in-house gelato shop. Nothing wrong with a little old fashioned capitalism when it tastes this good.
Through fire, ice and artistic expression, these kids are learning so much more than just how to make something cool out of glass. And speaking of learning and growing, since anyone can take lessons there, I even tried my hand at it. I actually managed not to singe my mustache, and I even made something pretty creative and useful… a paperweight (at least that’s what they told me it was when they stopped laughing).
So if you like gelato, cool glass art and helping today’s teens, Water Street Glassworks is a great place to check out in Benton Harbor.