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Anna K. Davie students turn scarves into project of kindness

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Students at Anna K. Davie Elementary are bringing a little warmth to their neighborhood this season.

The Kindness Club at the school recently started a school-wide project, asking students to bring in gently used or new scarves to donate. The club members plan to go out next week and tie the scarves on trees and posts in the school’s neighborhood and along Broad Street.

The scarves will have a note attached, saying, “I’m not lost! If you are out stuck in the cold, please take this to stay warm. Signed, Anna K. Davie Secret Kindness Agents.”

“I saw this done last year on Facebook,” explained Alissa Mitchell, first-grade teacher. “I kept it in my mind, and I saw other people doing things in Rome to help others, so I wanted to do this. I knew I couldn’t do it alone, so I brought it to our assistant principal.”

Kriszti Kilpatrick loved the idea and decided it would be a project for the school’s Kindness Club.

“We have about 18 members in the club in grades third through sixth,” she said. “The club is one of our extracurricular activities and offers a way for the children to reach out to their community.”

The original idea, bringing scarves in to donate to the cause, has expanded. Creativity took over and students are making scarves. Classrooms are even making scarves as projects.

“Being the competitive person I am, I decided that we needed to actively participate,” laughed Regina Detweiler, teacher of the self-contained special education classroom. “My mother, who is affectionately known by my students as ‘gran-gran,’ enlisted friends at her church who donated fleece blankets.”

Detweiler’s students have been helping “gran-gran,” also known as Nettie Everett, measure, cut and create scarves. So far, Detweiler’s students have made 48 scarves.

“They are loving it,” Detweiler said. “This project not only fits into their goals and objectives in class, as they learn measurements, but also helps teach them about giving.”

So far, the school has managed to collect about 200 scarves, Kilpatrick said.

Detweiler’s idea of using fleece blankets cut into several scarves caught on and other teachers have begun making quick runs to Wal-Mart to purchase fleece blankets in colorful designs.

“I’ve been cutting them into the proper scarf-sized strips,” explained third-grade teacher Becky Kemnitz. “Then I bring the strips in and the students cut fringe into them and roll them up and tie them with yarn.”

Kemnitz admits she may have created a monster demand.

“Now, I get demands from them to bring more blankets in,” she laughed. “Every time we run out, they tell me I must bring more in, because more is needed.”

One of her students, Isaiah North, has taken a special interest and even made it a family project.

“My sisters and I made three the other day,” North said, proudly showing off one of his fringed scarves with a purple and pink pattern. “We did it so people who need them will stay warm.”

Club member Xavier Johnson said he is enjoying the project and looking forward to tying all the scarves up next week. But, he did say that the project is taking some dedication.

“We’ve all been working hard,” Johnson said. “We are doing a lot of scarves, like 10 in one day.”

If anyone wants to donate fleece blankets or scarves, they may call the school at 706-232-4913. The students plan to start placing the scarves on poles and trees next week before the school has its final day before Christmas break on Dec. 16.