Central Unified's youngest students donate gifts to children in need

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A personal thank you by the Marjaree Mason Center to transitional kindergarten and fourth grade students at Saroyan Elementary School. A small gesture of gratitude for 22 handmade blankets that the students helped make together.

"What a fabulous idea. I think I was most impressed the teacher would think of giving her students a project that isn't just about fundraising," said Nicole Linder, Marjaree Mason Center.

It all started with a lesson by Central Unified teacher Dee Dee Dowding, who wanted to teach her transitional kindergarten students that your time is worth something to someone else.

The children began making kind gestures to each other at school and then were taught to be helpful and kind at home.

"So we started talking about what they did at home and how it made them feel and it just sort of expanded from there, and I wanted to find something we could do that was a social contribution," said Dowding.

Dowding said since the five-year-olds were all learning to tie their shoes why not make fleece tie blankets. They got some help from their 4th grade reading buddies.

"It was like tying your shoes you just put it in an 'S' and then tie it," said Bernabe Lozano, 4th grader.

"I think it'd be really helpful because they need to be warm," said Delia Hodson, 4th grader.

"They know they're not going to know who the babies are that get their blankets, but they're happy to know someone is going to have a nice warm blanket to snuggle with," said Dowding.

More than half of the beds at the Marjaree Mason Center are for children, so officials said the blankets are going to go a long way.

"I know the blanket will be a source of warmth, but it's seriously a source of comfort and just that feeling of being at home and they likely left their special blanket at home, so for these kids this gets to be their new special blanket," said Linder.

During a season where many children are preparing to receive these students are learning to give.
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