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Students team up against drugs
Chipper Benoit did not expect to make a quilt when he started his first year of middle school as a sixth-grader at Glynn Middle School.

Now that he and his classmates have completed a quilt in honor of National Red Ribbon Week, a campaign to promote staying drug free, Benoit would not mind making a few more.

"I liked it because it wasn't like normal class," Benoit said. "We got to draw so it was more fun."

The school's Parent Teacher Association charged each team of classes in each grade to make a quilt, in this case a large piece of fleece with student-made paper patches attached to it stating why students would remain drug free.

Benoit's patch stated, "I want to be drug free so I can be in control like a boss." He hopes one day to own his own business.

His classmate, Nicolas Gonzalez, an avid soccer player, said he wanted to stay away from drugs so he could keep playing the sport he loves.

"I'm drug free because I'm healthy," Gonzalez wrote on his patch.

But the patches were not just busy work. There was both a hidden geometry and language arts lesson incorporated into the activity.

"We got to thinking, if we were going to do this we were going to incorporate some math into it," said sixth-grader Luanne Fendig.

Instead of simply decorating the patches with some colors, students were asked to create tessellations and identify the geometric shapes in them. Tessellations are patterns of repeated shapes.

"They got to see how piecing them together would make other shapes as well," said sixth-grade teacher Chrissy Hooks. "The main message was drug awareness, but they learned some math and some language arts through writing their sentences."

The sentences were a way students could get some valuable practice in writing short and concise declarative statements, Hooks added.

The patches were then arranged in a spiral pattern on the fleece to represent a hurricane, the school's mascot.

Classes were broken up into two teams in all three grades.

A winner for the best quilt will be chosen by the PTA out of the six entries.



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