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Teacher makes quilts for students

A fourth-grade teacher at Oakland Elementary School made each of her students a quilt during their separation due to the pandemic.

As schools were closed across the country, teachers had to think creatively to stay in touch with their students and show that they were still thinking about them. Julianne Tise spent her time making a unique quilt for each of her fourth-grade students.

“I love my kids,” said Tise. “I know it sounds cliché, but I do. Each year, they become my family, even after they leave my class.”

Tise spent 10 weeks making the 21 handmade quilts. She made each quilt different to represent the students’ different personalities and interests.

“I took what I knew about them from this year and asked their parents for input to make them personal,” said Tise. “The kids had no idea I was doing this.”

The quilts included different patterns and colors. Some quilts had patterned squares with logos of sports teams or cute animals placed in a design. Other quilts had solid squares that create pictures like pandas, elephants, castles and mermaids. Each quilt gives a glimpse of the student’s personality.

Tise is setting up meetings with her students so she can give each of them their quilt in person. She is reuniting with them at their house or a different location where the student and parent feel comfortable.

“It’s nice that I can see them one last time to say goodbye,” said Tise. “It gives some semblance of normalcy and closure to the year.”

According to Tise, Oakland Elementary School is a family. Throughout the whole school, it does not matter what grade level someone may be a part of; there is still a strong community.

“We all look out for each other and care about each other,” said Tise. “There’s always someone there to listen. We are just one big family.”