JACKSON TWP.  In the past several weeks, 33 Jackson High School juniors in the Connections classes worked together on a community project to help kids feel better while having to stay in the hospital. They put together five fleece blankets for kids who are in Akron Children’s Hospital.

Jackson High School world language teacher Aimee Dria said there were two classes of students that joined together to complete the project. She said the students came up with the idea on their own.

“With the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser scheduled for March, many classes were coming up with ideas to help kids,” Dria said. “Many classes went to get their heads shaved at the fundraiser. One of my students suggested the blankets and the rest of the class and Kristine MacDonald’s class decided to make the blankets for the kids. The students liked the idea they would be providing something to give the kids extra comfort during their hospital stay.”

The blankets were five feet by five feet. Each had a different theme including campers, hearts, dogs and earth moving equipment such as trucks and bulldozers. The blankets were made of fleece and had a fringe cut the entire way around.

Dria said her class also took pictures of themselves making the blankets and sent them in a card with good wishes. The blankets and cards were scheduled to be delivered the last week of March.

One of the juniors, Lauren Fisher, suggested the idea and was thrilled the other students decided to do the project.

“I helped with a similar project in eighth grade and we recycled the idea, making the blankets allowed us to be creative and have fun and they are something that will help the kids in the hospital,” Fisher said.

Fisher volunteers at Mercy Medical Center and sees kids who are staying in the hospital. She said, “The blankets will truly help the kids staying in the hospital. It will bring them a bit of sunshine and make them happy. Being sick is a challenge and most of them just want to be treated as if they aren’t sick and I think getting the blanket will help them feel normal.”

Casey Walters was another junior who helped make the blankets for the project.

“I felt honored to be a part of the project,” Walters said. “I like helping people and a lot of people are in need right now, so it was good to be able help.”

Dria said it was “a wonderful experience for the kids.” She said she was happy the students decided to do the project.

“The Connections classes meet every Wednesday for 30 minutes and it has students with many different interests. The students came together with one idea and worked together as a team to create a beautiful product that will serve those kids in need,” Dria said.