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Brevard Middle School students hand out gifts to police department

Members of the eighth grade Beta Club at Brevard Middle spent Thursday afternoon at the Brevard Police Department, passing out handmade gifts to Chief Phillip Harris and officers. Over the course of the year, the club made 26 fleece blankets and 16 sock animals to help comfort children in emergency situations. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Members of the eighth grade Beta Club at Brevard Middle spent Thursday afternoon at the Brevard Police Department, passing out handmade gifts to Chief Phillip Harris and officers. Over the course of the year, the club made 26 fleece blankets and 16 sock animals to help comfort children in emergency situations.

Math teacher Mellissa Howell said the students decided to partner with the department at the beginning of the school year.

"In the summertime, we heard so much negative things about police nationally, and we wanted to do something nice for them. It's important to give back locally," Howell said.

Harris said the animals and blankets will help ease an officer's job when it involves children.

"Imagine a child who has been in an automobile accident or has a small injury. If we are able to give them something like that (sock animal) to hold on to, it gives them a chance to be comforted," Harris said.

Many of the students didn't know how to sew but were still determined to become involved in the process.

"We had one gentleman who came in the week before and he stayed after school with me to learn how to sew. He did this so that he could make an animal," Howell said.

Some of the animals were recognizable, others were imaginary creatures, like a banana-cat hybrid.

"Sometimes some sock animals were given some extra love in a classroom. They would sit on a student's desk while we were working away on our scatter plots and liner regression," Howell said.

Howell said some students were worried about the look of the final product, but she stressed an important lesson to them -- it didn't matter what the animals looked like.

"The final product was going to go to a child who is having a horrible day and doesn't understand what is going on. It can be an accident where mommy and daddy are hurt or a domestic issue where there are a lot of police officers. So, what we talked the most about is that love had to be put into every single product," Howell said.




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