Hampton Elementary second-graders give bags of gifts to Isaiah 117 House

Published 8:08 am Thursday, December 20, 2018

Charity, like patience, is a skill that people often must learn over time rather than have it innately. For children in Elizabethton, those lessons are coming early.

Second-graders from Hampton Elementary recently finished a donation of supply bags to Elizabethton’s Isaiah 117 House.

Quana Roberts, their teacher, said the class made clay necklaces and sold them in order to raise money for the supply bags.

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“We made enough money to make about 12 bags,” Roberts said.

She said the money went towards filling the bags with various items, including a teddy bear, writing supplies and coloring books.

Each bag cost around $15 to make, meaning the class of 12 students raised around $180 for the Isaiah House.

Roberts said the project was two or three weeks in the making, saying the project originated out of concern not just for the kids who stay at the house but also those who leave it.

“We were not sure if the kids who left the House had anything to bring with them,” Roberts said. “We wanted to give them something.”

The children made the necklaces out of polymer clay, using either cookie cutters or their own imaginations to come up with the shapes and designs. One student even came up with the idea to use slipknots for the necklaces so they could be adjusted to various sizes.

“We initially thought about doing something for Samaritan’s Shoebox, but we decided we wanted to do something local,” Roberts said. “We even used regular bags instead of Christmas bags in case someone did not get a bag until March.”

Roberts said she originally planned a field trip to deliver the bags on December 14, but the snow and ice that week delayed school and forced her to reschedule to Monday, Dec. 17.

“Parents texted me all the time saying their kids were worried the children at the House would not receive the bags,” she said.

She said the children’s enthusiasm and energy towards the project was their biggest achievement as a classroom.

“It was very rewarding watching my kids get excited about helping others,” she said. “They thought of others instead of themselves this time of year.”

Roberts said the success of the project, both their donation and the lessons her students learned from it, convinced her to do it again in the future.

“This will now be a yearly project,” Roberts said. “The kids loved it so much.”