Knitting at school: Pierrefonds kids take part in lunchtime program

Click to play video 'Knitting helps kids at Terry Fox Elementary' Knitting helps kids at Terry Fox Elementary
WATCH: Children at Terry Fox Elementary are taking part in a new lunchtime program – knitting. As Global's Felicia Parrillo reports, the school says it helps them relax and refocus when it’s time to head back to the classroom.

Usually, when the school bell rings, it means lunchtime, recess or a little time away from class.

But, for a few kids at Terry Fox Elementary School in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, in Montreal’s West Island, it means something a little different.

Every Wednesday, during lunchtime, around 15 to 20 kids gather in Ms. George’s classroom to knit.

The idea was inspired by 5th grade student, Alessandra Falvo, who introduced her teacher to a knitting project she was working on last year.

READ MORE: Montrealers knit Izzy Dolls for impoverished children in developing nations

When other students showed interest, teacher Christina George started the new lunchtime program.

“I just started having some kids in at lunchtime, I got them some knitting needles, I just showed them the basics and off they went,” said the fourth grade teacher.

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Children at Terry Fox Elementary School and their teacher, Christina George, on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
Children at Terry Fox Elementary School and their teacher, Christina George, on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Felicia Parrillo/Global News

“You can make stuff, you wear them, they’re soft and you feel proud of yourself because you made it,” said Grade 4 student Soly Avayou.

READ MORE: West Island women knit muffs for Alzheimer’s patients across Montreal

Many say the hobby has helped them in more ways than they ever anticipated.

“Normally, when I’m stressed or scared because I have too much homework or projects, I’ll go in my room, pick up my knitting stuff and just knit,” said Falvo.

The teachers notice a difference in them as well.

“I have some kids that like to knit during class because it helps them with their focus and their concentration in the classroom,” said George.

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“So, if I’m explaining a math lesson, instead of sitting there and fidgeting around, a lot of them will have their knitting out and they’re focused and paying attention to me.”

READ MORE: West Island woman crochets plastic bags into mats for homeless

George says she’ll keep the program running as long as it is in demand — and she already has a goal in mind for her knitting class next year.

“We could knit some scarves for the homeless and hand them out in late fall, beginning of December,” said George.