If you were to walk into Great Neck Elementary School in the last month during recess, there is a pretty good chance you’ll see a group of kids – composed of boys and girls – quietly knitting.
The reason? Because again, for the fifth year in a row, students in Margaret Worobey’s fifth-grade class will be knitting snowcaps for the newborns at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.
“Every year, I ask (my class) if they want to do it, and they always do,” Worobey said. “They really get into it.”
So far this year, 20 students have knitted snowcaps for babies at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, out of 25 students in Worobey’s class. The hats are on display on a Christmas tree at the front of Great Neck School, a tradition, Principal Pat Fedor said.
“The students get excited about it, because they hear about it from the previous grades,” Fedor said. “And I think (Worobey) presents it in a really nice way.”
The program is the work of a dedicated parent, Donna McDonough, who volunteered her time to teach children how to knit five years ago when her child was in school and has come back every year since. McDonough also volunteers at L+M Hospital, creating the connection necessary to donate the snowcaps there.
McDonough used to do a knitting class afterschool at Southwest School, and five years ago Worobey talked to her about doing one in her class. McDonough volunteered, and gave the students two lessons on how to knit in class, with the end goal of knitting snowcaps for the newborns at L+M.
It went well the first year, with almost all the students participating. Despite that her child is no longer in the school, McDonough has come back every year, and every year it has been equally successful, Worobey said.
McDonough does two lessons with the students and shows them how to knit, Worobey said. Then, some students who catch on quickly or learn from home begin to teach others, and by the end nearly all the children are knitting, she said.
“I think they like it because they are donating it to someone else,” Worobey said. “And they feel really good about it after, that they created something. They feel really proud of it.”
It takes about a month for the students to knit the hats, and they get to pick their own color yarns and patterns, Worobey said. She added that she will continue to do the program, so long as the students keep wanting to do it.