Last year, my son started 5th grade at IACS. About halfway through the year, his homebase teacher invited students and parents to teach a weekly class during homebase time. Last year’s classes included ASL, Crime Investigation, Greek Mythology (my son was in that group!), and I offered to teach knitting. My little group did well! Some of the kids switched to loom knitting when they found needles too unmanageable, but all the kids were able to produce something.
This year, Mrs. K asked for volunteers again, but with the added requirement that we find some way to make our class a community service project as well. I hemmed and hawed quite a bit — I think we can all agree that first projects from beginning knitters are not always something to inflict on the needy — but then one of my friends suggested a perfect solution: make little blankets for the cat cages at the local MSPCA. Kitties don’t care about dropped stitches, uneven edges, or holes. I know from experience how quickly they go through linens and blankets — they always need more. So off we went, mad knitters one and all: some used needles, some used looms. The kids made six little blankets, and also collected donations (toys, supplies, money, etc.) for the MPSCA.
Last week, we brought the kitty blankets and all the donations to the MSPCA, and took a tour. We were joined by another of the groups, who sold the art they made and donated the funds to the MSPCA. We got to see all the farm animals first. They said they had been flooded by horses this year, primarily because of the economic depression. Horses cost a lot to keep fed, housed, and healthy. It’s sad, but at least Nevins can give them a second chance.
The chickens were not impressed, but the geese really seemed interested in us. They followed us as we walked past their enclosure, and honked loudly as we left.
Our guide did a good job balancing the realities and sobering statistics of shelter life, with allowing the kids to simply enjoy being around animals. Inside the bunny room, she handed out greens so the kids could feed the bunnies. She also let them hang with the loose kitties in two different cat hang-out rooms. The light was better in the bunny room, so please admire these lovely creatures… I love the hairdo on the second one!
I was very proud of our group of kids — they learned something new, and used their skills to help others. It was a pleasure to teach them how to knit!