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The Boyertown community has been so supportive of the Arts, that several local students wanted to give something back.
On Wednesday, Feb. 6, Friendship Hook and Ladder Fire Company steered into the parking lot of Boyertown Junior High West and were immediately greeted by students with their arms stocked full of teddy bears ready to be donated.
Students cut, stitched, and stuffed nearly a dozen teddy bears as a part of the Huggy Bear Club.
Students who are in good academic standing are offered a variety of enrichment sessions for the to choose from such as sports, wood shop, mug decorating, etc., according to Stephanie Stamm, art teacher at Boyertown Junior High West.
The Huggy Bear Club was one of the offerings.
The bears were made as donations to the fire department for their usage during emergency situations involving children.
“We appreciate the donations. Stuffed animals make it nice for kids and calms them down,” said Fire Chief Chuck Neubauer. He continued to state that the department generally tries to keep stuffed animals on hand, and that the amount of teddy bears that have been donated will make it possible to share with other departments.
The bears will be kept in the fire trucks for easy accessibility during emergency situations.
Members of the junior high club included Sydney Carper Sellers, Grace Evan, Dennis Haldeman, Nicole Henry, Caitlin Scott, Jessica Seal, Allyson Bennett, Cassandra Nagle and Gina Stecker.
Stamm originally thought of the club upon attending the Kutztown University Art Education Conference back in November 2012.
“There was an art teacher there who presented her lesson on teaching elementary school children to quilt, and she had them practice sewing skills on teddy bears,” said Stamm. “She gave me her lesson plan, and I made bear patterns because Boyertown’s mascot is the bear.”
“I begged for material from other teachers and my friends and relatives, old sheets, pillow cases, anything,” said Stamm. She already had the stuffing needed from a donation last year, and she had the pins and needles.
This is the first year that Boyertown Junior High students have taken part in such an activity.
The club was so successful that other students want to do it too, according to Stamm. As a result of this interest, she will now be offering the club to grade seven. This past cycle was only offered to grades eight and nine, however each grade is given the opportunity to be enriched.