The school milkbag club

I haven’t written about the school milkbag club in quite some time.

A solid core group of 12-15 students comes twice a week, during second recess (many more began last October, but the overall attrition has been low). The students fetch the bin with all their kit bags, the box with supplies, and settle down to crochet within 5 minutes … well, most of them 🙂 Their work this year has been to crochet sitting mats (roughly 2 ft square), for which they prepare their own strips; their hooks are either purchased or borrowed from the school supply. Their skill level has increased noticeably and their continued enthusiasm for this project is a source of quiet pride for me. So far, we have seen 11 mats completed, with more than one from several students! A photo is taken of each student, holding their finished mat — it’s a very proud moment for both student and me.

We have now begun working on a special `club project’: a purple-only sitting mat which still be made entirely by the students, each one participating in the whole process, from cutting to crocheting. They will make the base chain, learn how to crochet back along the chain for the first row, and then carry on till it’s completed. The finished mat will serve as a tangible symbol of the club and its members, and will remain in the school for the following year’s group. In case it needs to be said: purple is the school’s main colour!

As for the milkbags in general, they come from a variety of sources: those left at our own office, and those which come from two elementary schools, where they are collected and now sorted by volunteers. Given the current labour issues, there are no teacher-led groups at those schools who could undertake any crochet projects, but I’m hopeful that some day some of our students can come along with me to teach younger students how to do more than just collect. I’d like to point out that ALL bags are collected — those which are too smelly or dirty or ripped go to the plastic bag recycle bins at the local Metro stores, while the `nice’ ones are kept for crochet work. There is no reason for any milkbags to go into the landfills.

… I’ve just spent an hour exploring YouTube videos on crochet and plastic bags … oh my! That’ll have to be another blog entry! Stay tuned …


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Marisa on June 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Can I donate milk bags? I have a ton and I don’t have time to crochet a mat. Thanks!


    • I’ve just finished taking home all the bags from school — and I have the bags from another school to pick up on Wed. … so my supply is rather ample 🙂

      I think the best thing at this point would be for you to simply bring them to your local Metro store for their plastic recycle bin. For Barrhaven, the bin is just inside the doors (big blue thing). For other Metros, perhaps go there first to check where it is, and then bring the bags there. It’s almost as good using them for crochet — keeps them out of the landfill, which is the main issue.

      And if at some future time, you do have time you’d like to spend doing crochet, we’d be more than happy to show you the ropes (… the bags!).

      Thanks so much for getting in touch!


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