MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon High School students in the Transitions & Career Search I classes recently combined sewing skills with the holiday spirit by designing and sewing holiday stockings for children attending New Directions’ Christmas party.
Thirty students improved their button, hand- and machine-sewing skills, creating the stockings, then filling them with personal hygiene items donated by teachers, Family Career and Community Leaders of America members, friends and local dentists, John Payne and Thomas Glibert, and orthodontist Timothy Wigal. Fabric, buttons, and trim were also donated and/or purchased with FCCLA fundraising profits.
“This project has many goals,” said Family & Consumer Science teacher, Martha Melick. “Students learn career skills through preparing donation request letters, contacting dentists and hotels in Knox County, and writing the thank you letters. Another goal of the project was for students to feel confident in replacing a button, repairing a tear using a sewing machine or fixing a hem. These are all skills that can save money in clothing replacement or repairs, in addition to improving personal appearance at work and school.”
Although the academic goals are important, Melick said, the enthusiasm and excitement students generate demonstrates success in improving self-confidence and self-esteem. She said student comments ranged from “No one will want my stocking,” to “Can I sew an extra ribbon and bells?” to “Wow, look at all these stockings; the kids are going to be surprised!”
Students who participated liked it so much they suggested that the stocking project be included in next year’s curriculum.
The stockings were delivered to New Directions in time for the Christmas celebration Monday.