Students at Richland Northeast High School are busy knitting during their free time, making scarves for the homeless this holiday season.

Wanda Brown, Media Specialist at Richland Northeast said she got the idea to offer a knitting class last year to give students an opportunity to try something different.

She asked Science Teacher, Kimberley Norris-Jones if she would teach the students how to knit. The classes went well and this year, Norris-Jones asked Brown if she thought it would be a good idea to see if the students wanted to knit scarves for the homeless. Brown, thought it was a great idea and started promoting the opportunity on the school’s morning news show and student newsletter.

“I was totally shocked at how many students showed up to knit. At one point we had 22 students who wanted to knit scarves for the homeless,” Brown said. “Even after the first few sessions, I continued to get emails from students who wanted to be a part of this project. The cool thing about it is knowing how to knit is not a prerequisite. Norris-Jones is willing to teach those who have never held knitting needles before.”

“I am proud of students taking time to learn a new skill to help others,” said Norris-Jones. “Knitting is time-consuming, and not always easy. Students are enjoying creating something that is going to help someone from nothing but a ball of yarn.”

Kezia Gibson, a senior at Richland Northeast High School is one of the students participating in the knitting project. She said she was moved to participate because of a National Honor Society (NHS) sleep-out she participated in during the month of November. The sleep-out was held on campus to bring awareness of hunger and homelessness.

“After participating in the sleep-out, I gained a greater understanding of some of the issues those who are homeless endure,” Gibson said. “We were outside from 4 -8 pm and it rained earlier that day. It was very cold and uncomfortable. So I wanted to be a part of making scarves for the homeless to help keep them warm and also to let them know that we are thinking of them and want to help. The sleep-out was an experience I will never forget and I just want to do whatever I can to help those who are less fortunate.”

“Students are excited about using their skills to make something for those who are less fortunate,” Brown said. “As the temperatures drop, I know many people will be grateful to get these beautiful, warm scarves,” she added.

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