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CES fifth grade students help homeless children

| December 27, 2018

The Coshocton Elementary Fifth Grade students made cozy fleece blankets to give as gifts to the children who were in the homeless shelter over the holidays. Contributed | Beacon

COSHOCTON – On Dec. 18, 2018, the fifth grade hallway at Coshocton Elementary was abuzz with synergy and purpose as the fifth grade students worked, with support from the Coshocton High School Swim Team, to create 20 blankets to benefit children in a local homeless shelter over the holidays.

The project began as a literature unit for the fifth grade classes. Each class read a novel and short story which featured characters that were experiencing homelessness. This was followed by a video which included interviews with homeless children. It really touched a chord in the fifth graders to hear the firsthand tales of the experience of being homeless, and the feelings associated with that. Finally, the students read three informational articles depicting people with innovative ideas to support and help the homeless. The blanket project was the culminating activity for the literature unit and the children were excited to participate.

The Coshocton Elementary Fifth Grade students were excited about the prospect of making cozy fleece blankets to give as gifts to the children who were in the homeless shelter over the holidays. Through donations, snack sales, and penny wars, the fifth grade students raised more than $148 for material. The Coshocton High School Swim Team came forward with a very generous $100 donation, and an offer to help make the blankets. The students also received a $25 gift card from Wal-Mart to help them purchase supplies for the project. In total, there was $273 raised, which facilitated the purchase of materials to construct 20 fleece blankets.

It was a heartwarming experience to see the love and devotion that the CES fifth graders put into making their blankets. Precise measurement, careful cutting and assisting each other as needed allowed the children to produce unique, neat, and very cozy blankets. The swim team members offered support in many ways: From helping to cut and tie the blankets, to supervising, and occasionally helping students to correct mistakes they had made. These swim team members showed up with enthusiasm, patience, and excellent leadership skills to assist the creativity and hard work of the fifth grade students.

The students wrote encouraging notes and good wishes for the gift recipients to accompany the newly-made blankets. On Friday, Dec. 21, the gift bags were brought to the Coshocton Kno-Ho-Co Community Action Center where they were enthusiastically received.

This was a wonderful project and the children were very excited to be able to have such a positive impact on their community. In the words of one fifth grade student, “I’ve never done a project like this before. It made me feel good to help someone. Can we do this again?” The Coshocton Elementary Fifth Grade students will be working to generate additional ideas to support the homeless families in our community. The target date for the next project is Feb. 14.

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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