What originally started as a personal passion for two Mount Pleasant Elementary students, has turned into a fun and engaging club for students from all grades. Break supervisor and kindergarten teacher, Karen Husak, saw two girls, Pearl and Melissa, knitting during every lunch and recess break.
A knitter herself, Husak suggested they start a knitting club. Grade 4 teacher, Erin Scorentz, also saw this as an opportunity to engage her students in a fun and creative way. All Grade 4 students initially joined the club and learned to knit a tea towel. "While some gave it a try but weren't too interested," says Scorentz. "Others became hooked!" Since then, the club has grown to include students from Grades 4, 5 and 6. Grade 6 student Melissa says she comes early to school every morning to knit outside the office.
With a voracious appetite to learn more, the students now frequently request new patterns and styles from their teachers. Linda Au, the Mount Pleasant Office Administrative Assistant, has been knitting for years and enjoys teaching the group new and different techniques. Lately they've become increasingly interested in crochet, which she happily coaches them through. The group knits, crochets and finger knits many different items from kitchen cloths to hats, scarfs and bracelets.
The knitting club began as an opportunity to learn something new and connect in a different way, but throughout the process it has evolved beyond a simple craft exercise. One kindergarten student was struggling in school and experienced a lot of anger, says Principal Jann Schmidt. "The idea came up to introduce him to knitting to see if he would enjoy it. The effect was astounding," says Schmidt. "The focus it takes to knit helps him to calm down when he feels angry or upset."
The students' passion for knitting has had another unexpected result - an abundance of completed knitting projects. Like many schools in the district, Mount Pleasant is currently fundraising for a new playground, so the group has decided to sell their beautifully knitted creations to fund the new playground. For the next six weeks, the group will continue to feverishly knit hats, scarfs, flowers and anything else they can think of to sell at Mount Pleasant Days, the annual community event that takes place on the second weekend in June.
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