The heartfelt way these Shuswap students are remembering a lost classmate
By Glynn Brothen
January 27, 2016 - 2:30 PM
LIDS FROM LIAM PROJECT HELPING NEWBORNS AND THE NEEDY
CELISTA - As they grieve for their classmate, Shuswap students are keeping his memory alive by knitting and donating toques to help others in the community.
The ‘Lids from Liam Project’ started at North Shuswap Elementary in Celista after Grade 5 student Liam Smith died in an ATV crash September 2015. Liam, who lived on a farm, enjoyed being in the outdoors and was well-liked for his ‘larger than life personality’.
"It hit the school pretty hard. As part of the grieving process my wife’s class started to do knitting,” teacher Brad Schmidt says.
Brad’s wife Kim introduced looms in her class, which is a couple year’s younger than Brad’s class. The project took off and soon, Brad’s students were knitting as well.
Two or three days a week, Brad and Kim’s students knit for 40 minutes while listening to music. He says Liam’s parents have joined in on the activity as part of the school’s Me to We work for the Free the Children Charity.
“All the kids have been successful with it,” Brad says, noting the criteria for students is to donate one toque before making another for themselves.
Students and others taking part in the program knit a total 197 toques so far, 67 of which were donated to the New Life Community in Kamloops earlier this week.
Along with donating to the less fortunate, Brad says the group made a point to make toques for newborns, which they’ve delivered to the maternity wards at Royal Inland Hospital and Prince George Regional Hospital. A special point for students was helping a Kamloops father pick out a toque for his newborn son, Brad says.
“It looks like (the program) might be a permanent fix,” Brad says. “The mom of the boy is planning on knitting year-round because she doesn’t want his name to be forgotten. Our goal is if the mom wants this to be her thing she can take over and we can welcome it at the school.”
Students enjoy making the toques just as much as the recipients enjoy getting them as gifts. Brad notes students were taking their projects home from school while other students asked for their own toques as Christmas gifts.
If you’re interested in donating yarn to the project, call the school at 250-955-2214 and ask for either Brad or Kim Schmidt.
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