Knitting goes back to school

2017-02-28 06:00
Connie “Aunty Connie” Abrahams will be taking her knitting club to Hillwood and Prince George primary schools from next week.

Connie “Aunty Connie” Abrahams will be taking her knitting club to Hillwood and Prince George primary schools from next week.

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With knitting not being taught in schools anymore, a Seawinds pensioner has been teaching children to knit every ­Saturday.

Connie Abrahams, affectionately known as Aunty Connie, started the Young Knitters Club in Seawinds last June. She has been running the knitting club from a container in Mossie Street on Saturdays.

The club has been such a hit with local children that they are now introducing their club to schools as an afterschool programme.

To reach more children they will be taking the club to Hillwood and Prince George primary schools.

She will be helped by two other pensioner volunteers.

But their excitement to teach their first learners at Hillwood was dampened by gang violence last Thursday.

Aunty Connie and her helpers were turned away and narrowly escaped walking into the middle of a gang fight. As gang violence flared up in Lavender Hill, the learners were dismissed ­early.

Leanne Reid, project director of Learning in Reach, who has supported the Young Knitters Club from the start, says the community needs to work together for peace in the area.

“The children of Lavender Hill need the community to work towards a peaceful environment where the children can get the tools and support they need to break the cycle of poverty and build a better life for themselves. Knitting is just one of the activities Hillwood Primary is introducing to enrich the children’s lives,” she says.

Reid adds that providing an extended day programme to learners gives them the opportunity to improve their enjoyment of school, reduce the school drop-out rate and support the learners to achieve better academic ­results.

“It provides the children with a greater chance to narrow the gap in learning compared to neighbouring model C schools. Gang violence restricts the access to these activities, hindering the progress that could be made to turn Lavender Hill into a thriving community.”

Aunty Connie says the children want to achieve something in life.

“Apart from the obvious benefits of developing hand-eye coordination and concentration which can impact school results, knitting gives the children a sense of accomplishment. It teaches them a new skill and with practise and some hard work they can create something of their own. That is a life skill that can be applied to other situations.”

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