CLARK – After having a jeans day for the teachers to raise money for pediatric cancer patients, Krista Chapman and Amanda Vacchio, 6th grade math teachers at Kumpf Middle School, felt that their students should get involved in a service project as well.
The teachers decided that their math students could make blankets for the young patients residing in Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick and Columbia Presbyterian in New York. In order to ensure the maximum amount of blankets could be made, the students needed to raise money so the fabric and card materials could be purchased.
Each student brought in at least $3 for the materials and there was also a donation from Withum Smith and Brown. More than $700 was donated, allowing fabric for over 60 blankets to be purchased. With the money left over after purchasing the fabric and cards, there will be a $100 donation to the Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation to raise awareness and fund research for pediatric brain cancer patients.
Chapman and Vacchio wanted the service project to be interdisciplinary and presented the idea to other teachers. The English teachers, Mrs. Babis’ (6th Grade), Mrs. Casale’s (6th Grade), and Ms. Monsorno’s (7th Grade) classes were going to create stories with illustrations for the children to be able to read in the hospital. The social studies teachers, Mrs. Corby and Mrs. O’Neill, were having their 6th grade students make multiple cards that were extremely decorated and inspiring for all of the patients.
Students began the service project by watching an inspiring video raising awareness about a young boy’s journey through brain cancer. While the English and social studies classes worked on their projects, in the 6th grade math classes started the process of making multiple blankets for these patients using measurement and mathematical concepts. Students cut fringes on the blankets, then tied the fringes together to secure the blanket. Students worked extremely hard putting multiple blankets together in each class. Students even took the project a step further taking their cards or stories home with them to dedicate more time to them at home.
The project was a huge success. Over 150 cards, 60 blankets, and 25 books were made by the 6th Grade students and Ms. Monsorno’s 7th grade English class. It was a project the students will not forget and know that they warmed the heart of a child battling with cancer in a hospital by creating a blanket, book or card for them.
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