Usually, students on a Friday after school just want to go home and relax or hang out with friends. Nobody wants to spend extra time at school, especially with a teacher. But sometimes students will give up their Friday afternoon at school. I did this in my sixth grade year. My music teacher, Ms. Bayert began the Helping Hands Club. She taught about 25 students how to knit and crochet. We would make squares and each one would contribute to a quilt for the Jeffco Actions Center for the homeless.
But why would so many kids at an elementary school want to learn how to knit and crochet? What would make them want to help the homeless? Parent Pressure? Friends? 'I joined because of Ms. Bayert. She's my favorite teacher,' Says Emma Hartmann, who joined helping hands. 'I also wanted to join because I wanted to help the homeless. It's unfortunate that they have to live outside and the blanket that we would make would give them warmth,' She also told me.
In my opinion, the best thing about this club was the school coming together. It didn't matter if you were in third grade or sixth grade, we were all students of Kendrick Lakes Elementary. There were even little kids teaching the adult helpers!But why would teachers want to spend their own money on a club? How long has she been knitting and crocheting? What gave her the idea to make this club? I decided to hear what she has to about all this.
Q: How long have you been knitting and crocheting? Who taught you?
A: I've been crocheting since I was 5, so about 25 years and knitting since I was 6 so 24 years. My Grandma taught me how to crochet and her sister taught me how to knit.
Q: Why would you spend your own money on the club?
A: People taught me for free and I wanted to teach others for free too. I also wanted kids to have a cool experience.
Q: What inspired you to make the club?
A: Over the summer I was watching a knitting and crocheting show and a lady was talking about how she started a club like this with her girl scout troop, and I thought I could make a club like that.
Q: What do you mostly knit and crochet?
A: All kinds of stuff, really. I go through different phases of what I like to make. I've recently been making scarves, hats and little animals. I also tried to make a coat for my dog. I like to make my own patterns than doing ones from a book. When I was little, I made clothes for my Barbie's. They weren't the best looking, but I loved them. But no matter what I make if I succeed or fail, I always learn something new.
Q: How much yarn do you have?
A: I honestly have two dressers full of yarn! I didn't buy them all, when you tell people that you knit and crochet, they give you all of their old yarn. Half my yarn is from people I know.
Q: Why do you think so many kids joined this club?
A: I think kids joined this club because they need activity that doesn't involve electronics. They also need something to do with their hands. I can't sit still, I have to be doing something with my hands.
Now the Helping Hands Club isn't quite as big as it once was but there are still the few that attend each week. Ms. Bayert told me that there has been as few as five and as much as forty-two! There are 24 members in the club now. I go there to help teach the little kids and visit my friends that I've made that I can't see that often anymore.
It's nice to go there and talk with the younger kids. Other girls my age seem to only be talking about boys and friends. But these kids don't worry about that sort of thing. The conversations went from pets to Nintendo DS gaming systems.
But what do other people think about this club? 'I think that she is very generous to spend her own money and time on something not school related. She also must have a lot a patience to do that,' Says Aelora Kolacz, her opinion on the club. She was generous and very patient, something that most people wouldn't be able to do.
Not many would be able to or even have the thought cross their mind about teaching elementary school kids how to knit and crochet. But Ms. Bayert isn't like most people. She is giving, kind and fun to hang out with. Learning the skill of knitting and crocheting is probably one of the best things I've learned. I make so many things; I too have lots of yarn. But not as much as Ms. Bayert does! But putting what we've learned into the little squares that make up the enormous blanket for the homeless just makes you feel good. Whenever you turn in your square, you know that you are doing good and that someday, people will have a blanket to keep them warm.