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Hooked on Creativity: SJH students learn how to crochet

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Splendora Junior High School is fostering a unique and creative environment where students are delving into the art of crochet as part of their What I Need (WIN) time. Within the structured schedule at Splendora ISD, 6th-12th graders are given opportunities to engage in additional academic support, master conflict resolution techniques, or explore other avenues of interest. Notably, a significant number of middle schoolers have enthusiastically embraced the art of crocheting.

The inception of this initiative occurred during the revamping of schedules to incorporate WIN time, which encouraged employees to share their passions beyond their regular duties. Sherrie Swinney, the longstanding campus secretary at the junior high school, seized the chance to impart her expertise in crocheting, despite not being a core subject teacher.

With an impressive 33-year tenure within the district, Swinney's crocheting skills surfaced as a teaching asset only five years ago. Reflecting on her journey, Swinney remarked, "Crocheting has been a lifelong passion since I was 10 years old. Being able to share this profound love with our students brings me immense joy."

How exactly does WIN time work? Every nine weeks, students are presented with numerous choices for their engagement, including Outdoor Games, Cupcake Decorating, Sports Media, and Cosmetology. Presently, Swinney collaborates with another teacher, Brittany Hudson, to guide and instruct 54 eager students in the art of crochet. The class has been so popular,  that every rotation for this academic year has been filled. One student shared his persistence in trying to join the class throughout the year, and finally secured a spot this rotation. Numerous students begin their crochet journey in 7th grade, often continuing into 8th grade. The crochet instructors note that by the second year, students become adept at navigating intricate patterns independently. Claire Martinez is one of the students who is doing next-level crocheting. “Mrs. Swinney taught me how to crochet and I love making the crocheted animals. I have already created a cow and I am now working on a pig. I also do this at home and working on a few Christmas gifts. I appreciated Mrs. Swinney teaching me these skills,” said Claire. 

When asked about the most gratifying aspect of sharing her crocheting knowledge, Swinney enthusiastically responded, "Witnessing the students' enthusiasm as they grasp new stitches and preparing them for Crochet 2, the advanced class, is incredibly fulfilling. Guiding them through pattern reading and witnessing their completion of initial projects fills me with pride. This skill transcends time, and these students will carry it with them forever."

Principal Molly Buford added, “WIN Time is an exciting part of our day, and it makes my heart happy to know that our students have the opportunity to foster their strengths and talents outside of core classes. This is one of the many reasons that helps make Splendora Junior High a true Learning Organization.”

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