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Westgate kids help bundle babies for the winter
Babies at Riverside Methodist Hospital will be warm and cozy this winter, thanks to students at Westgate Alternative Elementary.
Intermediate health and physical education teacher, Carrie Shivers, has spearheaded a new group, the Westgate Cares Club, meant to teach children the importance of giving back.
“I want the kids to learn a new skill, but more importantly I want them to contribute to the community,” said Shivers.
For their first project, the Westgate Cares Club will knit blankets and hats for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at Riverside.
Shivers said she got the idea for baby blankets from a national project, but thought the kids would better relate to helping someone locally.
“I specifically wanted to help children,” said Shivers.
The project is slated to begin at the end of September and will continue until Christmas vacation.
Shivers plans to start by teaching her fifth grade students how to make the blankets and hats, each of which will be constructed out of several individual knitted squares, as a social studies project. Each child will make one 4 inch by 4 inch square.
“I would like to make 15 blankets, total,” said Shivers.
Each blanket will require 48 knitted squares.
The students who enjoy the project and wishes to continue or learn more can join the club, set to meet during recess and after school.
“That way, if they don’t want to do anymore, they don’t have to,” she said.
Shivers says her students are excited about the upcoming project, and noted that one student has already turned in a completed square.
“Some of the boys are very hesitant because it’s sewing,” she added.
Shivers hopes that once a group of fifth graders have joined the club and mastered the art of knitting squares, they can let the younger kids in on the fun.
“I’d like to expand to the younger grades as the fifth graders know enough to teach them,” she said.
Shivers says that while many students are excited for the project to begin, supplies are still needed.
“We need crochet hooks and acrylic yarn, color doesn’t matter,” said Shivers.
Anyone wishing to donate supplies can drop them off at the school, 3080 Wicklow, or call the school at 365-5971. You can also e-mail Shivers at email@example.com.
“I’m also open to people in the community that would be willing to come teach,” she said. “I would like the help!”
Shivers added that while this particular project centers around knitting, there’s no telling what skills the next project will require.
“We just want to do projects that help people,” she said.
Shivers hope this project will be “the first of many” for the group.
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