Students hand-make blankets to warm the hearts of foster kids


By Amanda Tonoli

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

No-sew blankets galore were laid end-to-end on the carpet at The Montessori School of the Mahoning Valley, 2008 Lynn Ave., covering the floor Friday evening.

The fuzzy fleece finished products are going to Making Kids Count, a local non-profit that puts together “Comfort Kits” for children transitioning into foster care.

Michelle Wells of Youngstown said she and her family enjoyed giving children new to foster care something they’ll have of their own.

Hillary Fuhrman, the school’s community service chairwoman, went from student to student straightening no-sews and talking about the recipients of the heartfelt, hand-made blankets of care.

Sixty students and parents participated Friday evening in the project. No-sew blankets are simply knotted together along the edges, using strips of colorful fleece.

Fuhrman said adding community outreach to the school’s mission is new to this school year, and has a three-fold purpose.

“Our goal is to try to help the kids to do [community] service independently, to build community at the school and also to help our local community, as well,” she said.

Stephanie Richendollar of Youngstown brought her two young children, Emelia, 3, and Noah, 4, to give them a sense of community.

“They need to know they’re not the only ones in the world and need to help other people – and realize they could do a lot of good,” she said.

Amy-Anne Kibler, The Montessori School of the Mahoning Valley executive director, said all aspects of the community service and outreach that have been added to the curriculum are a perfect fit for her school’s mission.

“Our kids have been really excited about doing acts of kindness,” she said. “Since we are Montessori of the Mahoning Valley, it makes sense that we give back to this Valley.”

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