Club’s crochet project brings merrier season



Walking into a room at Hoosier Christian Village in Brownstown, the nine members of the Brownstown Central Middle School Crochet Club brought some Christmas cheer to 10 residents.

The students had learned all about crocheting and put those skills to use by making scarves.

One student completed hers in three weeks, while some were putting the final touches on their scarves right up until the day of delivery.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

But it didn’t matter to the residents how much time it took to make the scarves. They just appreciated their thoughtfulness.

“Oh, it was wonderful. Best Christmas I have spent,” Hoosier Christian Village resident Orpha Abner said after receiving her scarf.

“I tried to learn to crochet all my life, and I never could,” Abner said. “I appreciate this. This is like my mother used to make. She could crochet anything.”

Etta Eileen “Dolly” Ault also liked the scarf she received. For years, she said she crocheted items for other people, so she thought it was great for someone to make one for her.

“I really appreciate this,” she said. “At least they are all not wrapped up in themselves. They think about other people. That’s important.”

Ault also said it’s good for the students to learn a skill like crocheting.

“They can make gifts for other people, and it’s something to do to pass their time so they won’t get into meanness,” she said.

From the scarf she received to the students and their adviser, Amanda Newby, playing Christmas bingo and charades with them, Pam Ault said she had a good time.

“I thought it was great that these kids came and saw us, took time out to be with us and play games with us and crochet us scarves,” she said. “It means a lot to me. It really does. I really enjoyed myself.”

Charles Graham said the student who presented the scarf to him wanted to make sure he liked it.

“That means a lot to know kids do something but they want the people to acknowledge and say, ‘Somebody took time out to care about me,’ and if I didn’t like it, he would make me another one,” Graham said, smiling.

Fortunately, Graham liked his scarf and appreciated the kind gesture by the students.

Crystal Hampton, activities aide at Hoosier Christian Village, said everyone enjoyed the Crochet Club’s visit.

“I think with all of the meanness that’s in the world, it’s neat to see that there are a few still in the younger generation that actually grasp the concept that things like this mean a lot,” she said. “There are people in our facility that have no family and do get nothing, so this small thing goes a long way.”

The Crochet Club is among 22 clubs offered at the middle school as part of an enrichment learning initiative.

For three six-week rotations this school year, students can choose to be a part of one of the clubs, which were created with input from staff members and students. They meet for an hour each Wednesday.

They are able to change their club offering at the end of a rotation or stay with the same one.

During the first rotation, Newby offered Guitar Club, and she and the eight students involved learned how to play the guitar.

She decided to switch to Crochet Club for the second rotation.

“I looked for a club that would give kids an opportunity to do something for someone else,” Newby said. “Hoosier Christian Village came to mind as a place in town that may have people we could do something for.”

She contacted the facility’s activities director about the project, and she said they were thrilled about it.

“I chose crocheting because it is something I know how to do, and I thought a simple scarf may be something that residents of the village may appreciate and use to keep cozy through the winter months,” Newby said.

When Newby saw the names of the students who signed up for the club, she said she was especially surprised and excited to see one of her special needs students choose to join and also her daughter.

Some of the students had tried crocheting with a family member, but most were starting fresh without previous experience, Newby said.

First, they learned the slip knot used to start any piece, and then they moved on to the chain stitch, another essential. Lastly, they mastered the double crochet stitch, which they used to complete the scarves.

“Some of the students progressed quickly in their skills, and this worked in our favor, as the students became additional crochet instructors,” Newby said.

Newby and a couple of other staff members donated materials for the project, and some students brought in their own materials.

The students who finished their scarf early made another one for themselves.

“What I liked most about the project is that the students accomplished a not-so-easy task and used what they learned to benefit others,” Newby said. “Each of the students are incredibly valuable and have a lot to offer our world. They are tough, smart and resourceful. It’s my hope that this project in some way helped them to realize that or helped to reinforce those facts. The crocheting stitches were a bonus.”

During the visit to Hoosier Christian Village, Newby said she liked watching the interaction between the students and residents.

“The event could not have gone better thanks to the residents, students and the village activities director assistant, Crystal,” she said. “Each student had a terrific time. The residents appeared to love the visit and their gift. As they unwrapped their scarves, many of the residents immediately put them on and kept them on while we were there.”

Eighth-grader Dylan Minton and sixth-grader Savannah Kovener both said they liked being a part of the Crochet Club.

Dylan said he joined the club because crocheting is something his grandmother, Dora, did until she passed away when he was 3. His mother was planning to learn how to crochet from Dora but didn’t get that chance.

“I figured I’d learn how so I could teach my mom,” Dylan said.

Savannah said she and her mother continually look for things to do together, and crocheting is something they have always wanted to try. She said she joined the club to learn how to crochet so she could teach her mother.

“I know how to do it now, and I’ve taught my mom,” Savannah said.

She and her mother plan to use their crocheting skills to participate in Little Hats, Big Hearts, an awareness campaign led by the American Heart Association with Children’s Heart Foundation to celebrate American Heart Month by knitting and crocheting red hats for babies born in February at participating hospitals.

For the final club rotation, Newby said she plans to offer a fishing club.

“This club will show video of fishing bloopers, learn to identify area fish, build their own fishing pole and in May go on two catch-and-release fishing outings,” she said.

No posts to display