The peace of paper | SteamboatToday.com

The peace of paper

Tina Weintraub teaches the ancient art of origami

Erin Gleason

— Seven years after her retirement, part-time Steamboat Springs resident Tina Weintraub can’t seem to quit teaching. But instead of grammar as her subject matter, Weintraub teaches the ancient art of origami.

Weintraub became enthralled with the paper-folding art after picking up a book about origami 20 years ago.

“I discovered it was a wonderful way to reach children,” Weintraub said. “Teaching through origami creates a fun and inclusive environment that really interests kids.”

Students use origami to learn basic math principles as well as broaden different subject areas such as social studies and science. During her 31 years as a special education teacher in New York City, Weintraub found origami especially appealing to special needs children.

“My catchphrase is ‘the peace of paper,'” Weintraub said. “There’s something calming about being creative through folding.”

After years of using origami as a tool inside her classroom, Weintraub joined Origami USA. She took classes through the organization and eventually co-wrote a book with another member of Origami USA. “Easy Origami” outlines the link between origami and elementary education.

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“My mission became to teach origami to teachers,” Weintraub said. “I felt like I could reach the most children that way.”

Weintraub specifically sought out special needs teachers. She believes that for special needs students, origami is a great tool for hand-eye coordination as well as creating a bond between teachers and students.

“I’ve gotten such positive reinforcements from teachers and students alike,” Weintraub said.

In addition to her classes at the Steamboat Arts & Crafts Gym, Weintraub continues to teach lessons on origami in New York City.

“It’s just amazing if you get to the point doing harder kinds of models,” Weintraub said. “The things you can create, it’s limitless.”

Key points

Tina Weintraub’s origami class

1 to 3 p.m. Fridays

Steamboat Arts & Crafts Gym

$35 for instruction and materials

Csll 870-0348, or visit http://www.steamboatarts… to register

The all-ages class focuses on beginner and intermediate origami structures. For an example of the pieces taught in Weintraub’s class, visit her display booth at Bud Werner Memorial Library.