Youths sew quilts for AIDS babies Project: By participating in a program to create blankets for ill children, second-grade students at Linthicum Elementary School show how people can make a difference.

June 09, 1996|By CONSELLA A. LEE | CONSELLA A. LEE,SUN STAFF

The second-graders at Linthicum Elementary School had some presents Friday for AIDS babies at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore: quilts.

The students helped make three quilts this spring, as part of their studies of historical figures who made a difference in the lives of others, and presented them to Carol Sue Carmon, head of the Maryland chapter of At-Risk Babies Crib Quilts, known as ABC.

"We made these quilts because these people made a difference in our lives and we want to make a difference in someone's life," second-grader Dustin Wiltrout told Carmon. "We hope that these quilts will make a difference in the lives of some babies."

This spring, second-grade social studies teacher Sandy Muir has been teaching her students about people who made a difference in the lives of others, including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Betsy Ross.

At the end of their studies, the second-graders used felt marking pens to sketch images of their favorite people on swatches of cotton that Muir and Bonnie Wilson, the school's media specialist, had sewn together.

Dustin, for example, chose Booker T. Washington, the principal founder of the Tuskegee Institute.

Carmon, a 53-year-old grandmother of five from Dundalk, gave the children a book about ABC and a certificate of appreciation. Their caring makes the project worthwhile, she said.

ABC was founded in 1988 by Ellen Ahlgren, a Northwood, N.H., woman who enlisted the aid of family and friends to do something for the estimated 3,000 babies in the nation born with acquired immune deficiency syndrome and were living their lives at hospitals because they were orphaned or abandoned.

Since then, the nonprofit organization has delivered more than 22,000 quilts to children at hospitals and foster care agencies across the country.

Carmon launched the Maryland chapter of ABC four years ago after she learned about it at a sewing class in Towson. Wilson learned about it at her quilting guild and decided making quilts would be a good project for the students.

Some children didn't understand the disease, but they knew babies need comfort.

Autumn Bittinger said she and her schoolmates hope the babies "will feel happy we did this for them."

Carmon said she appreciated the "love and enthusiasm" of the second-grade students.

"The best part of the whole thing is not teaching people how to make quilts or do them, but seeing the faces of the little children when they stretch their arms out to receive them," she said.

Pub Date: 06/09/96

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