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Cold weather inspires a warm project for ARES students

A class of third grade students at Akin Road Elementary School had a special project to work on while stuck inside for recess during the cold days. They made blankets for Gillette Children's Hospital.

It’s been a long, long winter, but the cold outside has warmed the hearts of kids in one class at Akin Road Elementary School.

This year’s winter has been trying on teachers, staff and students, ARES principal Lisa Reichelt said. Classes have been cancelled five times due to the extreme cold. The cold has also kept students inside during recess on several occasions.

“I haven’t even totaled them up, because I don’t think any of us wants to know,” Reichelt said, “but it’s been too many.”

But the time inside has been put to good use by one ARES third grade class.

A couple of weeks back, students in Troy Feustal’s class took on a new project during their indoor recess times. One day, English language teacher Kristin Brooker brought several yards of fleece in to Feustal’s class and asked students to help her make a few tie blankets.

And so they did. During their indoor recess time, students made a total of seven blankets. A couple of the students were so enthusiastic about the project, they made two more over the course of a weekend and brought the blankets in to school.

The blankets were donated to Gillett Children’s Specialty Healthcare Hospital in St. Paul. The blankets can be given to children who come to the hospital for an extended stay, Reichelt said.

Reichelt likes that the students have put their indoor recess time to good use.

“The third graders are very excited to donate their time to helping other kids, and hope to continue making blankets as long as the cold weather remains,” she said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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