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East Students Serve with Quilts for Veterans

February 8, 2013 08:55 AM
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It was a snowy Wednesday afternoon, and Ramontae Kendall was busy sewing a thread through a quilt in the family and consumer sciences classroom at Proviso East High School.

The Proviso East junior, who played football last fall, said that the men in his family typically do not sew or do any quilting. Yet here he was, working a thread through a piece of cloth to attach it to the base for the first time in his life.

"It’s hard because my hands are big," said Kendall, 17.

Kendall is among the six to eight students at Proviso East who have been working with Ms. Karen Golin, a family and consumer sciences teacher, after school on Wednesday making quilts as part of a community service project. The quilts will eventually be donated to veterans at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Hines. She said that the quilts are sized for wheelchairs.

"Everyone is different," Ms. Golin said. "It’s not meant to cover them, but it’s extra."

East-Quilt-2013-smMs. Golin, who has been quilting for 43 years, said that the students are making 26 quilts, one each in honor of the 26 victims of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December. She also has been making quilts for charitable causes for the last few years, including 18 quilts for an orphanage in Thailand that has been impacted by the devastating tsunami in December 2004.

After trying the project at Proviso East last year on a service day, she said that she wanted to work with students again on a quilting project.

"It’s something simple for them to work on," Ms. Golin said. "This shows there’s some care taken in this."

The students have been working with 17 yards of fleece and other fabric that Ms. Golin said that she purchased on her own, including making braids for the quilts. They also have been able to gain hours that can be applied to their community service requirement for school.

Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East High School, said that the project was a good way to serve the community.

"I think it’s an excellent way for students to be in harmony with their community," he said. "I think it’s a great way to make learning relevant to them."

Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East High School, said that the project was a good way to serve the community.

"I think it’s an excellent way for students to be in harmony with their community," he said. "I think it’s a great way to make learning relevant to them."

Sheonte Jones, 18 and a Proviso East senior, said that she was sold on joining the project after Ms. Golin told her about making quilts for breast cancer survivors at St. James Cancer Center in Chicago’s south suburbs.

"She was talking about sending them to soldiers and I thought that was pretty cool," Jones said. "It’s pretty easy. You put in knots."

DDr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that the quilting project was a creative way for students and teachers to serve the community.

"The reason we require our students to complete community service is we want them to realize that there is a greater world out there that needs help from students such as them," she said. "When students can find creative ways to satisfy that requirement, it is rewarding for them and helpful to the community."

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that the quilting project was a creative way for students and teachers to serve the community.

"The reason we require our students to complete community service is we want them to realize that there is a greater world out there that needs help from students such as them," she said. "When students can find creative ways to satisfy that requirement, it is rewarding for them and helpful to the community."
 

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