Students complete quilt service project

KANAWHA – Third-grade students at Kanawha Elementary put the finishing touches Friday on a service project to help sick children. The school’s third-grade classes have spent one day a week for the last two months constructing quilts.

Linda Van Fossen, school counselor, said the project was inspired by a book the children read on patchwork quilts. Teachers thought the kids could make a quilt and in Googling the idea stumbled upon the Quilts for Kids program, she said. Quilts for Kids is a program that generates quilts donated to kids affected by cancer and other serious illnesses and diseases.

Teachers contacted the charity group and received three quilt patterns. The students – about 18 kids per class – then worked to develop the quilts, applying learned skills in mathematics, problem solving, color coordination and basic sewing skills, such as a threading a needle and a baste stitch, used to temporarily hold pieces of fabric together.

The quilts were completed under the supervision of teachers Betty Dotson, Jonathan Farley and Jay Phillips and Van Fossen.

Two of three quilts are complete. The third needs some final border work that Van Fossen will finish up this weekend.

Friday students wrote letters to accompany the quilts that are being shipped to Pennsylvania for distribution. Van Fossen said students would like their quilts to go to fellow third-grade students.

Phillips said the quilts campaign was one of several services projects they use to engage students. Previously, Kanawha students have worked projects for tree funds, Operation Shoebox, penny wars and Heifer International, a global nonprofit devoted to ending poverty and hunger.

Dotson said kids started work on the quilt project about eight weeks ago.

“This was our most labor-intensive project,” Phillips said.

Van Fossen said the kids were very enthusiastic about the project.