Mason Garcia, 9, wove yarn – loop after loop – until he had the beginnings of a hat.

“We copy the same thing over and over again,” said the Torres Elementary School fourth-grader.

Mason sat at a table with three other Torres Elementary fourth-graders as they each repeated the same steps of weaving yarn together to make a beanie after school on a recent Tuesday afternoon. They were among about 24 other students who decided to stay after school and participate in the crochet club.

The library supplies all the crochet necessities, such as yarn, hooks and looms, which act as a guide for beginners.

“It feels really cool to make stuff without having to pay for it,” Mason said.

Mason said he joined the club because he didn’t want to be bored at home, and he is glad he did. After school, he interacts with students outside of his class while learning a new skill he plans on continuing at home.

“I don’t know how they thought to do it at our school,” he said as he continued making his hat with the aid of a loom.

The club was introduced to Torres Elementary students this year. Pam Zimmerman, Torres Elementary School librarian, said she wants to see it continue into the spring semester.

Zimmerman oversees the club with several other teachers and volunteers. All of them were surprised when more than 20 students attended the first day and continue to stay after school every few weeks.

“We were expecting eight or nine kids,” she said.

She said she anticipated most of the participating students to be girls but was pleasantly surprised to find a mix of boys and girls.

The goal of the club, Zimmerman said, is to instill creativity in the students while offering them a way to relax.

“You’re creating this with your own hands,” she explained. “We miss out on our kids being creative. This opens the door to that creativity.”

Students have met three times this semester, and they have a couple more meetings scheduled before winter break in December.

Many students groaned when Zimmerman reminded them of the schedule. Others bent their heads down and crocheted faster in the hopes of completing their hats before the semester’s end.

“They’re excited to be a part of something,” Zimmerman said. “They get to do things other kids don’t.”

Fourth-grader Logan Garcia, 9, sat beside Mason and two other students and worked happily on his hat. They laughed with one another but fell into silence as they focused on their projects.

Logan said the first day in the club was stressful, but he is glad he joined.

“I kept messing up and kept starting over,” Logan said.

He said the club is a nice way to work the stresses of fourth grade away in the company of his new friends. Plus, he added, the skill offers easy gifts.

“It’s relaxing,” he said. “You can make things for anybody you want.”

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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Missy Albrecht

Wonderful program...except they are not crocheting, they are using a knitting loom. I do love how they are teaching them to use the looms, a terrific skill!

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