Students at Anna K. Davie Elementary were inspired to help others after seeing people cold and huddled up under a bridge. As part of the Aspire Program, students began to sew together bright colors of warm fleece in order to make scarves.

“My students are all about helping people,” third grade reading teacher Carla Freeman said. “One day they were outside riding bikes and saw some people under the bridge and really wanted to do something for them. They thought about how cold it was and it made them so sad. We thought about what we could do to make them happy, keep them warm, and give them something they could have all the time.”

The task, named Mission Warm Me Up, brought students together to work diligently to pin and sew wide strips of cloth together to make scarves. Not only did the students determine for themselves what the project would be, they also assisted in working out how the project would continue once the scarves were made.

“We are going to donate them to the soup kitchen, and we’re going to take a little walk and give them out under the bridge,” Freeman said. “It’s the coldest time of the year and I think it’s the perfect time.”

Freeman stressed that the project reaches beyond academic standards, teaching the students invaluable lessons about themselves and those around them. They’ve done more than just embrace this new project, they conceived it, created it and went full speed into making it a reality for the good of others.

“It’s that socio-emotional aspect of teaching them how to care for somebody besides themselves,” she said. “As a teacher you teach reading and comprehension and all the standards, but the thing that they’re going to take away is how to treat people. To be able to look at yourself and see who you are and how you can help somebody else, that really makes them who they are. You can be a great reader, yet not a great person. You can be a great person and become a great reader.”

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