Students in the Grade 7 French immersion class at Alex Hope elementary school spent the last two months hand-making warm scarves and gift cards for homeless people.
The scarves were to be delivered to a Langley City soup kitchen for handing out to the needy.
“When you’re walking around Langley, you may see one of your scarves,” teacher Guyanne Inouye told her pupils.
The day before distribution on December 19, the scarves and cards were neatly arranged on a table at the back of the classroom when a Times reporter dropped by to get pictures of the proud students and their creations.
There were 70 scarves in all, each neatly wrapped with a card.
Inouye said she had the idea for the project at the beginning of the school.
“I decided I wanted to show the students how to knit and to make something, a gift of some kind, to give back to the community,” she said.
For most of the 29 students, it was their first experience with using knitting needle and yarn.
“Only half a dozen knew how to knit before,” Inouye said.
As the project continued, the students began working after class.
One time, Inouye said, when some took a math exam, the ones who handed in their tests before class ended immediately resumed knitting.
“You get a nice feeling when you make something and you give it to people who are needy,” said student Gemma Van Grol.
“It was just nice. It’s kind of stress-relieving.”
Van Grol was one of the handful of experienced knitters in the class, having learned the skills in Grade 4 because her teacher then had a knitting club.
“Other people in our class didn’t know how to do this, but they learned very quickly,” Van Grol said.
One of the novice knitters, Josiah Foster said he was “excited” to be helping people stay warm in cold weather
“Its not 100 per cent my thing,” Foster said of knitting, “and I’m not the best at it. It takes me a pretty long time to do it, but other than that, it’s been fun.”
Foster was among a group of students who formed their own knitting circle, sitting in the back of the classroom to work on their scarves together.
Inouye said the project wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for donations by Spinright Inc. of Ontario, Canada’s largest yarn manufacturer, the Thrifters Paradise thrift store in Langley and a number of private donors.