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Students Use Knitting Skills On Community Projects

High-school Students Learn About The Importance To Give Back To Society

The students have for the last 13 years been taught valuable lessons in community spirit by their teacher at Mount San Jacinto High.

The 30+ students in Barbara Crossey’s semester-long weekly elective class are not doing community service in the traditional ways – like clean-up and volunteering.

Instead, they are making a difference to other people’s lives by knitting and donating lap blankets to local homeless people as well as patients who undergo chemotherapy.

Tree to five members of the Knitting Club of the Desert volunteer to mentor the students in Crossey’s class. Under the mentor’s tutelage, the students build up their knitting skills while at the same time work on the community projects. Once completed, the club members take the students’ knitting projects back to their group and ensure they get distributed to the ones in most need of them.

“Having the volunteers in the classroom brings an added level of involvement and diversity as the volunteers share their own life experience with the students,” said Crossey. “The volunteers provide an excellent mentorship for our students, and it is very rewarding to see the relationships that are formed through the knitting class and the projects that are birthed from the class.”

In fact, many of the high-school students have now taken up knitting as a hobby outside the classroom.

“Many students enjoy the class so much that they take it more than once,” said Crossey, who has been teaching at Palm Springs Unified’s alternative high school for 14 years. “And, of course, too, their efforts extend beyond the love of knitting to a project that gives back to others.”

As a teacher, Barbara Crossey finds it inspiring to see how her students take their knitting skills and use them to contribute to those who are less fortunate.

“The best part of the class is watching our students learn a life [skill] and interact with volunteers as they prepare to give back to those in need in the community,” she said.

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