Saline Students Worked Together to Knit Blankets for Patients at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital


Saline Area Schools held its annual Knots for Mott event this week, pairing National Honor Society students and guests from the middle school and high school for an afternoon of blanket crafting. Students gathered in the middle school media center to tie off fleece blankets that will be donated to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Laura Mayers, SMS teacher, helped coordinate this event, along with Zachary Ornelas, SHS teacher and NHS advisor.

“This is something we try to do for community service, to bridge the high school with the middle school kids. This is the second time we’ve done this,” Mayers said. “It’s nice because the NHS kids come, and they’ll help out with kids who haven’t made blankets before. It works out great, and it’s for a good cause.”

Donations of fleece were collected at the schools, and leftover materials from the blankets are also put to good use.

“The scraps we save and give to the builders club, and they turn them into toys for the humane society. Everything gets used,” Mayers said.

More than thirty high school students attended the joint venture, working alongside many more middle schoolers who stayed after school on Tuesday.

“It’s the middle school’s event, but we help with that,” Zachary Ornelas said. “ It’s really awesome to see the younger kids and high schoolers working together. A lot of these kids have big tests coming up before Christmas break, and they are here tying blankets and working with middle school kids.”

Students worked in groups, spreading out over the floor of the media center as they cut and tied brightly colored fleece into blankets.

“It’s actually really fun,” said Delilah McQueen, an SMS eighth grader. She worked on a bee-themed blanket with her cousin, Norman Kempfer, also an SMS eighth grader. McQueen and Kempfer said they’ve made blankets with their grandparents, and were happy to put their skills to good use.

Aiden Papay worked on a colorful sunflower blanket alongside classmates. “I’ve done this in the past, and I thought it was a fun activity to do after school,” said Papay, SMS eighth grader.

Assistant Principal Lindsay Guenther stopped by to show her support and help the students with assembly.

“The event started quite a few years ago. The students come together, they sit here and tie knots and have wonderful conversations while they support a great cause. It also introduces them to great opportunities they can have with the National Honor Society in the future.”

Ornelas took over the job of NHS advisor this year after Bill Mayers stepped down from his role with Saline schools to take a job at the University of Michigan.

“It was pretty eye opening to see that the NHS does a lot for this community,” Ornelas said. “I’m connected with a lot of people in this community I never thought I’d be connected with, like the Senior Center, the Rec Center, all the various churches that ask for help. It’s really cool. It’s a lot of responsibility and it’s a big job.”

“One of the best things about it is that I don’t get to teach everyone in the school. I have this small part of the school I get to teach in my English classes. Saline is one of the best academic schools in the state, and I get to see those kids that are the movers and shakers of the future when they are at these events. I get to see them in a non-academic environment, which is really cool.”

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