The students, staff and families of Thornton Creek Elementary School have worked together to create a community quilt, reflecting the diversity of the school. The “sampler album” style quilt has 36 squares representing every grade level, curricular and extra-curricular activity and special education program in the school.
The quilt will be displayed at Thornton Creek Elementary School, where raffle tickets for the quilt will be sold for $2 each at the annual Gator Gala on Friday, Feb. 22 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Other raffle prizes are include tickets to a show at the Marquis Theatre, a Target gift card and a DVD of original music videos by the Swingset Mamas. All proceeds from the raffle will go toward the construction of a new playground at the school.
The design and materials for the quilt were donated by the family of kindergartener J.D. Wang, and it was decorated by more than 65 students and staff members. Students from every class used fabric markers, paint and appliques to illustrate their favorite parts of the school day.
The quilt was sewn together by J.D.’s grandmother Laura Brindle, who learned the art of quilting from her mother and grandmother. Brindle has seven adult children and 10 grandchildren, and is a lifelong supporter of public education.
“I am excited to assist my daughter and grandson in this project, and to help my grandson’s school. I have enjoyed sewing for 63 years," she said.
A team of volunteer parents at Thornton Creek has been actively raising funds for the new playground since June 2012. In October 2012, the school was awarded a from Landscape Structures and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Foundation. In addition to applying for grants and seeking sponsorship from local businesses, the volunteer team has coordinated school fundraising events such as Popsicle Fridays, a family concert with the Swingset Mamas and a lunchtime birthday program.
The team’s co-chair Claudia Ordonez says that community support has been the key to the group’s success
“We have been working for eight months on this project. What gives us all the fuel we need, is the excitement of the Thornton Creek students. Some of them started lemonade stands in their neighborhoods, some donated their birthday party gifts, and we see kids coming every day with bags of pennies and they always stop the playground moms to ask, ‘Are we there yet?’," she said.
"We know the importance of play—for social skills, motor skills and fun—and this playground will give everyone in our community a safe, challenging structure where children can grow and learn lessons that will remain in their memory forever," Ordonez said.