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East Village Students Design Quilts for Sick Children at Day of Service

By Patrick Hedlund | October 20, 2011 3:32pm

EAST VILLAGE — More than 100 students from a local elementary school gathered Thursday to design quilts for hospitalized children as part of an annual volunteer effort.

Fourth- and fifth-graders from P.S. 64 on East Sixth Street spent the day decorating quilts and pillows for Soaringwords, a city-based nonprofit that connects ill children and their families to volunteers through the personalized items.

The program was part of the school’s yearly day of service, an effort P.S. 64 principal Marlon Hosang said allows his students to explore their creative sides while also giving back.

"The whole notion of having our talented students apply their gifts to our service initiative is a wonderful thing," he said. "It's a good lesson that our students are learning — that their unique gifts are being shared with others."

The mostly 10- and 11-year-old students decorated quilt patches with messages of encouragement to the recipients, who hail from around the country.

“I think it was a fun and a nice thing to do for kids in the hospital,” said fifth-grader Razuul Bey, 10. “They need encouragement. They need to know somebody cares.”

“You want to make them feel better,” added fifth-grader Destiny Cortez, 11, “and have them be able to look at it every day.”

Founded in 2000, Soaringwords has reached more than 250,000 children and adult volunteers, delivering items in 30 states and 66 hospitals nationwide.

Hosang said he hopes to expand the program within the school in the coming years to include more students.

“This is serious work,” he said. “They get it.”