The school day has ended at Mason Intermediate, but some of the elementary school's fourth, fifth and sixth graders haven't stopped learning. Instead, several MI students are happily creating fleece blankets to donate to critically ill children as part of Mason High School sophomore Madison Van Erp's after-school enrichment class.
Madison's protegees have made 22 cozy, adorable blankets for Project Linus - a nonprofit dedicated to providing "love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer 'blanketeers'," according to the organization's website.
"All of these girls worked so hard together for this important cause and they all made special fleece pillows and animals to take home for themselves at the end of the session as well," explained Madison.
Madison credits wonderful teachers throughout her years in Mason, and is considering a future career in education or in the medical field. Along with employment, she appreciates that this opportunity offers her hands-on experience working with children. " I had to learn how to manage a project budget and what classroom teachers experiences as they plan for and engage their students," said Madison.
Mason City Schools Student Activities Director Lorri Allen also appreciates having MHS students serve as leaders to younger Mason students in the ASEP classes.
"This not only positively impacts our younger Mason students, but allows our high school students to build self-confidence and leadership as well. We so appreciate Madison's efforts, and that she embedded a wonderful lesson of helping others into each of her classes!" said Allen.