West Ada fifth-graders knit scarves, blankets for Boise Rescue Mission

MERIDIAN, ID - Idaho’s bitter winters take a toll on the homeless population, but a group of young knitters at Hillsdale Elementary School is on a mission to keep those in need a little warmer this winter.

When people think of knitting, fifth-graders generally don’t come to mind. 

In the West Ada School District, the entire fifth grade class at Hillsdale Elementary School is practicing a skill the modern world is in danger of losing.

“We’re knitting scarves and blankets for the homeless,” said student Katy Jackson. “We want to pay it forward.”

Knitting is just as new to Jackson as it is for the rest of her peers. 

“I had to learn,” said student Tenlee Smart. “It was very confusing, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy.”

And after a lot of practice, the fifth-graders have found their rhythm. 

Working with donated needles and yarn, hoping their works of love provide a little warmth to a vulnerable population this winter.

“It will make someone really happy, because the scarves are really warm,” said student Macy Hansen.

It’s a lesson, school leaders say, that goes beyond the classroom — teaching students that they can do anything they put their mind to. 

“The fifth grade teachers talked to them about growth mindset and how, when you don’t know how to do something yet, you can learn the skills necessary and then you can master it,” said Hillsdale Principal Dr. Khristie Bair. 

And if you make a mistake…

“Mistakes are what make you human,” Jackson said. “So if you make a mistake on your scarf, you just learn from what happened and fix it.”

The students will donate their knitted creations to the Boise Rescue Mission. 

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