SASKATOON — Grade 7 students from St. Luke School in Saskatoon recently expanded a classroom knitting project to include those in need in the city’s core neighbourhood.
Teacher Colleen Doepker initiated the project earlier this year. “My original plan was that each student would make a scarf for a kindergarten student at our partner school, St. John,” she explained. “On Nov. 21, two moms (including my own), three grandmas, and a lady from Holy Spirit CWL came and taught my class and me how to knit and crochet scarves.”
The project grew in scope at the suggestion of Doepker ‘s mother, Lois McKay. “She had heard of a woman in Toronto who made scarves and then tied them around light posts in the inner city for people who could use a little extra warmth during the cold winter. I loved the idea and encouraged my students to make more than one scarf. They did not disappoint,” Doepker said.
Students went to work in the weeks that followed, making at least two scarves each for the project.
“Many parents also donated scarves that they had bought or made themselves,” Doepker noted. “Several moms found themselves reacquainted with the art of knitting and crocheting.”
The 28 Grade 7 students travelled to St. John’s school Dec. 18 to deliver scarves and have a party with their new kindergarten friends. “It was wonderful to see the students from both schools light up with the holiday spirit.”
After the school visit, the St. Luke students stopped outside Saskatoon Friendship Inn, where they broke into groups to “warm the street for those in need” by distributing scarves throughout the neighbourhood, tying them to trees and light posts, described Doepker, reflecting how the young people were putting into action the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
“By the time we returned to our bus, several of my students had noticed their scarves and hats warming the people in the area,” Doepker said, adding that many of her students have indicated they plan to make this a Christmas tradition.