Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd
A Gaithersburg, Maryland middle school English teacher went the extra mile with a seventh-grade student when the struggling student found out she was moving out of the area.
Maura Moore had been working with the student to help her with her studies and just as the student began to blossom and her grades went up, the student found out she was moving. Moore wanted to give the girl something to remember her by as well as something to remind her that she can achieve success with hard work, so she crocheted her an owl.
Moore explained that the student was shy and it took time to break down the walls so she wanted to give her a reason to continue to open up and believe in herself no matter where she moved. “I wanted her to remember that it’s good to open up…,” she said.
The act of kindness soon took on a life of its own and soon turned into a lunchtime group with students learning the art of crochet. It has now become an after-school club that boasts 40 members. Moore admits that crocheting carries the stigma of being for old ladies but says it is relaxing. The club even has 10 members that are male.
The new club is more than just seventh-graders finding another way to be social, it is also making a difference in the lives of critically ill children through the Linus project. Students worked together to create a blanket to donate to the project and crocheted 160 newborn hats for the Montgomery General Hospital NICU.
Moore says she’s been crocheting for seven years and believes the club also instills confidence in students as they learn a new skill, which then translates into confidence in approaching their academic studies.