Students bring cheer to nursing home

COVINGTON - Before schools dismissed for the holiday break, one school club brought a little warmth to residents of Covington Manor nursing home.

Indian Creek Middle School's Couture Club brought homemade fleece blankets to residents and gave added warmth to the residents by singing Christmas carols and visiting with them.

Each Saturday for more than a month, a group of nine girls in the fashion design club made about 75 fleece throws.

"They went through all of the stages (of creating the blankets) - trimming, cutting and fringing - and they also rolled them up, wrapped them in a stocking and put a candy cane in each stocking with it," club adviser Lynne Blanks said.

Six of the girls, as well as their parents and club advisers, visited the nursing home to present residents with the stockings, as well as sing holiday songs that they practiced extensively, Blanks said.

"They enjoyed it," Blanks said about the students. "And they appreciated it - it was very natural to them ... and they liked the one-on-one interaction."

The Couture Club has been in existence for nearly two school years, but this is the first community service project the students have participated in as a club.

"I grew up being a Girl Scout and (service projects) are what I've done for years," Blanks said.

So after the club got started, Blanks decided to partner with Bethabara Missionary Baptist Church's Missions Ministry for this - and hopefully future - community service projects.

"I wanted to incorporate the church, bring it into the school and bring them into the community," Blanks said. "(The students) need to see that life is not just about them and have someone show them this part of life. ... I like to give them the experience of new and different things."

Blanks, along with fellow club advisor Charnese Phillips, hope to do at least one community service project with the club each year and maybe more if possible.

"They're excited about it, and we'll take advantage of that," Blanks said about the students.

When the students aren't working on service projects, they are making homemade clothing and accessories like hair scrunchies, skirts and backpacks, among other items they have made on sewing machines.

"I believe in bringing them back to 'old school' because they need it," Blanks said. "They need to have fun and use their creative side. This is part of the arts, but it also brings them into math and other subjects, and they don't feel like they are doing them."

In February, the Couture Club plans to participate in its second fashion show during the school's Black History Month program, in which the girls model the homemade clothes they have created throughout the school year.

The club makes clothing and items with purchased or donated fabrics. Anyone interested in donating fabric to the club should call Blanks at the school at 770-385-6453.

Students interested in joining the club may do so at the beginning of each new school year.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.