The sound of cloth ripping could be heard from the entrance of Centre Learning Community Charter School on Thursday afternoon.
Fifth-grader Amelia Hegstrom, 10, cut the bottom of a T-shirt into short strips and then ripped the material the rest of the way to the neck of the shirt. She then braided the strips and knotted the ends.
In about two minutes, Amelia turned an old shirt into a homemade dog toy that would be one of many donated to animals at Centre County PAWS and Pets Come First. Students also made blankets and dog treats.
Thursday wrapped up the school’s Week of Service to honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Kathy Morrow, special and extended learning school program coordinator, said that each year, the school plans a week of events to celebrate King. This year’s service projects would benefit local, national and international organizations.
“We talk about the history of civil rights and other movements and partake in service projects,” Morrow said.
“During this time we also talked about areas of civil rights they think are important.”
The week started off with a penny drive to help collect change for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The drive will last through the end of the month, Morrow said.
Students sold hot chocolate at lunch to help fund CLC’s Little Free Library spring project, made bracelets for the Jipya Jambo School in Kenya and donated DVDs to give to Kid Flicks, which creates movie libraries for children’s hospitals and pediatric wards.
Students also made get-well cards for kids in the hospital and were encouraged to write positive messages.
Fifth-grader Ryan Swanson said he was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and had three open-heart surgeries. His experience gave him words of encouragement to write to other kids, he said.
“I know what they’re going through, and I let them to know to stay strong,” Ryan, 11, said.
Classmate Samantha Rudy, 11, said that card project was her favorite.
“I think it’s important to let others know you support them,” she said.
Morrow said the cards will be mailed to area hospitals, and a group of students will deliver the animal items to PAWS and Pets Come First.
Friday will end with a school assembly, award ceremony and movie.