Passion project: Barkley Bridge students knit blankets for senior citizens
The residents of Columbia Cottage Assisted Living in Hartselle were surprised recently when representatives from Barkley Bridge Elementary School delivered ten hand knitted blankets. The blankets were made by Barkley Bridge students as part of a program called The Hand Knitting Passion Project, through which Principal Laura Lamb has taught knitting to students and allowed them to choose to whom the items were donated.
“We brought them to our residents and they were so excited to get them,” Columbia Cottage director Kelly McIntyre said. “They were even more excited to hear that kids made them for them. And there was a sweet little card with each one signed by whoever made it. The residents loved them.”
McIntyre went on to say that while giving a tour to a prospective resident, a current resident had one of the blankets on their legs and the resident told the prospective resident, “Look at this blanket; one of the kids at the schools made it for me.”
“It’s one thing for the kids to be able to knit them, but then knowing that the kids understand that they’re going to elderly people that can use them and they’re helping decide who they go to. That’s just such a huge service to the community.”
Lamb said the blankets were part of a program called Passion Projects, where each teacher takes one of their personal passions and has students sign up for a group in which they will work on that teacher’s Passion Project.
“Every teacher has a group that they work with and we try to instill the same passion in our students. Then we turn that passion into compassion and we do something that will benefit someone else related to our interests,” she said.
Lamb said this is what led to blankets being donated to Columbia Cottage Assisted Living. “Our students talked about people that could benefit from them and one student said they their grandmother is always cold, and that led them to thinking and brainstorming and they came up with giving them to senior citizens.”
The Passion Projects groups meet once a week in the spring, at which time students and teachers work on their interests. While the group Lamb leads focuses on knitting, there are a variety of groups with different interests students can choose from and they are open to all ages at the school.