Queen’s Grant students knit for the homeless

by Sarah Gilbert

Students from Queen’s Grant Preparatory High School and a group of retired women count the squares they’ve knitted together over the past few months. A local group will turn the squares into blankets for the homeless.

Students from Queen’s Grant Preparatory High School have teamed up with local retirees to make sure all members of the community stay warm this winter.

Six members of the National Spanish Honor Society at Queen’s Grant are participating in a campaign they’re calling, “Uno para todos y todos para uno,” or “One for all and all for one.”

Together with a group of local retired women, the students met twice a week beginning in September to knit squares that will become blankets for the homeless.

Claudia de la Mora, Spanish teacher at Queen’s Grant and coordinator of the school’s National Spanish Honor Society chapter, brought the idea to her students, who got the project going and opened it up to the rest of the student body.

“The campaign is all about making and collecting the squares, and the ladies in the library will put the squares together into blankets for the homeless,” de la Mora said. “This is a national movement in the libraries who want to help people in need, even in these tough times.”

The squares will go to the South County Regional Library, located at 5801 Rea Road, where they’ll be combined with other donated squares and transformed into warm blankets.

The two groups met Nov. 17 at Dilworth Coffee at Hood’s Crossroads in Mint Hill to count the squares they’d made over the past few months and celebrate.

Throughout the months, and the two groups came together to knit, both learned something from the other.

None of the students who participated came into the program knowing how to knit, so the knitting meetings began with lessons from the women.

For Christiana Davis, a senior at Queen’s Grant and member of the Spanish Honor Society, kniting was an interesting challenge.

“I knew how to crochet, but I had never tried knitting,” Davis said. “It was hard at first to get into the movement, but the ladies who taught us were really helpful and patient. So that made learning to knit a lot easier.”

During the meetings, the women also picked up a little Spanish from the students.

At Wednesday’s celebration, the two groups counted the number of squares they’d produced in Spanish. The final count was ochenta y tres – 83 squares.

While they won’t know exactly how many blankets their squares will yield until the sewing begins, the students and women gathered to celebrate the contribution they’d made to the larger project.

“The Spanish Honor Society is an organization that wants to learn about Spanish culture and language but also help the community,” said de la Mora, who has taught the six members for the past four years. “My friend heard about this program at her library, and I thought it would be a wonderful project for my students in the Spanish Honor Society.”

Queen’s Grant Preparatory High School is a public charter school located on Idlewild Road in Mint Hill. The school serves more than 600 students in ninth through 12th grades and pulls many students from south Charlotte. To learn more about Queen’s Grant, visit www.qgphs.org/.

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