Grade 6/7 students at Laity View Elementary learned a new skill for a good cause this holiday season.
Kirsten Bailey’s class of 21 students knit 85 hats to donate to those on the Downtown Eastside who could use a little extra warmth during the cold months.
“It gives the class a chance to do something for someone else rather than just focus on their needs,” Bailey explained. “At this time of year, it’s important to focus on things other than just gifts and entertainment.”
The students worked on the wool hats for an hour and a half each day in class over the course of two weeks.
“They had the choice to take them home to keep going or wait until next class,” Bailey said. “More than half of them took their looms home regularly.”
Bailey has been doing this project in her class for the last eight years and it’s something the students look forward to every year.
It has become such a tradition, she added, that new students already know about the project before she’s even had the chance to tell them about it.
“This year, the kids were so eager to start that several of the students taught the rest how to do the knitting, so when I was ready to teach them, most of them already knew and had started already,” she said.
The students were so motivated, Bailey added, they broke last year’s record of 77 hats by eight.
“As they realize they were successful with their knitting and the hat looks good, there is a sense of pride and confidence they get and then they just keep going,” she said.
The wool for the project was donated by student families, Bailey and another teacher.
The hats will be handed over to the Beyond Hello project that will then distribute them to people in need on the Downtown Eastside.