Life Skills tackles blanket making


Lilah Adams

The life skills class has taken on a new activity with the kids: knitting. Teacher Katie Villarreal had the idea after seeing several creative knitting creations on Pinterest.

“I had seen these really cool, chunky, knit blankets in several stores and realized there were tutorials on YouTube on how to make them,” she said. “Although the timing was a bit accidental, it lined up with Mother’s Day by a stroke of luck, and we ended up with fantastic gifts to send home for moms!”

She said she could not have done the project alone. Aid Karen Helmcamp stepped in to help.

“Mrs. Helmcamp had recently joined our class for the remainder of the year and is great with sewing and knitting projects,” Villareal said. “With a class of 5, I needed a second pair of hands to help me implement a project with that level of difficulty so it really worked out perfect.“

Villareal chose this project for the benefits it provided for the students.

“Learning any life skill helps build independence, and that’s my central goal for all of my students.  Exposing them to any new experience is valuable,” Helmcamp said. “This project was fairly difficult. It required a lot of focus, time, and attention to detail.”

There were several moments of doubt during the project.

“At times, it became frustrating for them,” she said. “I heard a lot of ‘I can’t’… but they learned to ask for help, get input, and then keep trying.  The end result was a really amazing product. That shows them that there are things they may not THINK they can do, but most anything can be accomplished by working hard and never quitting. Most every student was surprised and excited by how well their blankets turned out.”