Little Hats, Big Hearts

This group of Eastern Middle students, one of three classes, used looms to make caps for newborns

Brittany Rosely and Sydney Paalman liked the idea of making loom caps for newborns to raise awareness of heart problems. Besides, agreed the Forest Hills Eastern Middle seventh-graders, there’s just about nothing cuter than a baby in a tiny knitted cap.

Nearly 80 students in each of teacher Lea Sevigny’s classes loomed more than 80 hats, which will be donated to the American Heart Association’s “Little Hats, Big Hearts” project.

“The students were all inspired to do something to help,” said Sevigny, who was awarded a $750 grant for supplies to make the caps. The grant came from Learning To Give, a Michigan-based K-12 philanthropy education organization that partners with nonprofits across the country with similar missions.

As part of the effort, students prepared for the service learning activity with a lesson on philanthropy, non-profit organizations and volunteerism.They also wrote public service announcements on behalf of local nonprofit agencies of their choice.

First-time loomer Forest Hills student aide Marge Hensch, center, made more than 20 caps. She is surrounded by Central Middle seventh-graders, from left, Ava Metaj, Kennedy Rudolph, Clay Udell, Joey Dixon and Madeline Ostrowski
First-time loomer Forest Hills student aide Marge Hensch, center, made more than 20 caps. She is surrounded by Central Middle seventh-graders, from left, Ava Metaj, Kennedy Rudolph, Clay Udell, Joey Dixon and Madeline Ostrowski
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio

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