Monday, March 23, 2015

Dear Class of Pam Belshaw

Hello from the Warm Hands Network!

I have to tell you that we packed many many boxes this month, but I absolutely do remember your beautiful handwoven blanket.  In fact, one of our volunteers, who has been weaving for many many years, picked it up and admired it.

Here is the note that I received from your teacher:
Originally the blanket was intended for the Igloolik shipment in January but it took longer than I thought. We looked at pictures of Igloolik,  circled where it is on a map of Canada, compared it to where Fort Severn is, and then Brampton. Grade 3s learn some Ontario geography and some history of First Nations and Inuit people so the project was a nice introduction.

For the second panel of the blanket, I had the students work with a partner to create a symmetrical design. To fit in some math, I also had the students calculate how much yarn was needed for their design, how many skeins of yarn were needed and the total cost. The students voted on the design they liked best and I put it on the loom. Once the weaving was done, the students had to sew the two panels together and make the fringe. 

Every student in the class was involved and did some of everything…weaving, sewing, fringing. The letter my students wrote you explains our process very well, too:

Kids of Castlemore Public School, your blanket was packed in the boxes for Cape Dorset and within a month, the boxes will arrive in city (so your blanket went from Brampton to Ottawa, then will climb onto a plane to Iqaluit and finally to Cape Dorset - a very long journey!).

The box will be opened, and the hats and mittens and blankets and sweaters distributed.  Your blanket is the perfect size and softness for a baby.  Maybe it will go to a new mother, and will be used whenever the baby goes out in the cold.  To give you an idea, a sunny day in Cape Dorset in May is like a cold day in Brampton in January.   And once the baby gets bigger, maybe she or he will pass it on to a younger sister or brother where it will be loved again, and then it will go to another family, where it will be appreciated, and used again to warm another baby.  Maybe your blanket that you made, with your hands when you were eight or nine years old, will be loved and used by someone while you are in grade 7, and then high school, and even after that.  Maybe when you are 18 years old (18!), the Belshaw blanket will still be loved and appreciated by someone in Cape Dorset.  I think it will be.

You are now community builders too, connecting Brampton with Cape Dorset, through your beautiful, cheerful red, blue and grey blanket.

Thank you for that, Jeevan, Avin, Tharun, Katrina, Shanit, Iknoor, Gursimar, Priya and the rest of the class!


Tracey said...

That's so cool! Way to go, kids!

Karen Z. said...

I love that this was done by the children and practical learning skills in math and geography at the same time! PLUS helping other children. Super job!

purplespirit1 said...

I love the letter from the kids! And how great is that teacher to incorporate this donation as a charity project, art project, and geography lesson all in one! Thumbs up!