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Menahga first graders make fleece hats

     That’s because as a part of their classwork that day, nearly 90 students created their own personalized fleece hats, with help and guidance from volunteers.

      The event itself tied directly into lessons being learned in class.

     “It started with a book we’ve been reading, ‘Boots for Beth.’ It’s about a growing little pig, Beth, who grows out of her boots. With it, we have been talking about how we grow. The actual sewing of fleece hats then tied into the book lesson as another way of how we take care of our bodies,” said Pam Allebach, a first grade teacher with Menahga for the past five years.

     Allebach and her class took part in the event, seeing merit in the activity when tied into her classroom curriculum.

     “Through our reading curriculum, every week we have a story. We look at our state standards and we tie whatever subject it may be that week into that story, trying to do a weekly theme,” Allebach said, “It’s just one of the ways in which we meet what we need to teach through a creative and hands-on approach. For a lot of them, it is also their first exposure to sewing too.”

     Not only providing a lesson, the hat itself was brought home for future use by students.

     “We have a high percentage of children that may come from a low-income family, so it’s another way to get hats on kids’ heads. Each hat costs $3 and it is budgeted into our classroom allowance.”

     The event ran from 9:30 a.m. until around noon, with help provided by parent and student volunteers.

     “It’s a nice winter activity that teaches kids about recycling, while also incorporating basic cutting and sewing skills: cutting accurately and learning to sew a straight line,” said Tori Ruhuju, one of the five or so parent volunteers.

     “I am just here today helping out because I had the time. It’s also very important for me to be involved in my kids’ education.”

     Overall, Allebach sees the event as a beneficial change of pace to a daily classroom routine.

     “This is the second year it has been done and I hope it will continue. This year we had even more kids participating; it’s such a good event,” Allebach said.

      “(It is beneficial because) the kids get a hat, they get to be creative and they get to sew - many of them have never even seen a sewing machine before. It’s just a good and happy experience; something fun while you learn. It’s been a neat way to expose our kids to sewing, being creative and taking pride in their work.” 

Nick Longworth
A graduate from St. Cloud State University, Nick photographs and writes a variety of stories for nearly every section of The Park Rapids Enterprise. His duties also include section layouts and online content submission.
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