Fifteen fourth- and fifth-graders who have worked on a looming Learn and Serve grant project since January celebrated the colorful, soft fruits of their labor Tuesday and then donated the winter wear to EVE Inc.
“I’m ready to cry,” said EVE shelter coordinator Tom Jackson, as he looked over the completed hats, scarves and mittens. “When they called me about this, I was already touched and seeing it ... it’s just amazing.”
The students spent two hours each week working on their projects together using small, circular looms and then worked on their own as well.
“They did everything on their own time, staying after school,” said Carol Garoza, Learn and Serve representative for the school. “We’re making an attempt to show them that even as small as they are, they can make a difference in the community.”
Fifth-grader Lindsi Snider, 11, said the two scarves, two hats and the set of mittens she completed had special meaning once she knew where they were going.
“When they told us what we were weaving for, it made me want to weave, weave, weave,” she said. “It really meant a lot to me to know that we were in there, working as hard as we could to help people who don’t have a lot and really needed it.”
Jackson said winter clothing is something often needed by the women and children who come to EVE to escape abuse.
“We get a lot of folks who basically run and they leave everything behind,” he said. “These will be really useful.”
The first names of the students who made each piece are clipped to the woven articles, and Jackson said those who receive them will be told they were made by Harmar students.
“The whole point of the Learn and Serve grant is they learn how to do it and then they serve the community,” said Harmar teacher Judith Levine, who along with Diane Pfile, taught the students the looming technique. “It’s not just for them.”
Along with learning a new craft and giving back to the community, Levine said she has seen some of the students blossom socially in the group, including fourth-grader Donovan Reed, 10.
“He was a very quiet young man when he started but not anymore,” she said. “It’s almost like a sewing bee in here with everyone working and talking and he really seems to love it.”
Reed said he’s proud of what he’s accomplished in the group, making friends and clothing.
“I like to accomplish something and have it there,” he said. “With weaving you get to do that.”
The project wasn’t without its challenges, though, as the students learned how to weave on the looms.
“When I first started my hat, it took me like 16 tries to get it right,” Snider said. “But it’s really fun. I made five new friends and we got to help people who needed our help. It’s a real privilege.”
MITCH CASEY The Marietta Times
Harmar Elementary School fifth-grader Lindsi Snider hands some of the woven sets of hats, mittens and scarves to Tom Jackson, shelter coordinator of EVE Inc., Tuesday at the school. Fifteen students have spent the last few months after school knitting the sets, and all 20 were donated to the shelter.