Teaching The Lesson Of Giving Back


Rhia Goliglee (left) receives assistance to complete a scarf from Montessori Director Roni Schutz.

Rhia Goliglee (left) receives assistance to complete a scarf from Montessori Director Roni Schutz. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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The idea started with a dream.

Roni Schutz, director of Morgan’s Creek Montessori School, dreamed of taking scraps of fabric and sewing them into scarves for needy children in Payson.

“I tried to ignore it, because I knew it would be a lot of work, but it kept nagging at me,” said Schutz.

In October, she started the process of collecting some shirts, pajamas and scraps of fabric from her pre-schoolers. Each child had a bag of fabric ready to use.

“I had a pile of jeans you wouldn’t believe,” said Schutz.

She cut two inch, squares then sat down to teach the children how to sew, a hands-on approach typical of a Montessori education.

Schutz taught the children to sew in three lessons. The first she had the students watch her sew, then they sat on her lap to see the process firsthand. After they understood the process and could name six different parts of the sewing machine, she had them sew pieces of fabric together.

The children designed their own set of patterns. Schutz focused on having the children use a solid, then a pattern, then a solid. She also taught them about textures.

Hunter Orris made scarves out of jeans for boys.

“The dads wanted my scarves,” he said.

Rhia Goliglee made scarves out of her pajamas with fuzzy pink and tie-dye squares. She was the last student to finish up a scarf.

“It’s got a string on it,” she said to Schutz as she looked over her final product.

Schutz called the chamber of commerce to find out which children’s groups in town could most benefit from a gift of the scarves.

“The chamber told me Payson Community Kids have a lot of needy children,” said Schutz.

Schutz and the Morgan’s Creek Montessori School distributed the scarves Thursday, Dec. 15.

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