New London Students Turn Buckeyes Into Blankets

By Lynne Phillips
News Editor

Ten students in Mrs. McDonald’s class at New London High School are putting their entrepreneurial skills to work and involving themselves in community service as well.

Students have been busy creating Buckeye necklaces, bracelets and garlands to sell. With the proceeds earned from the sales, fleece material has been purchased and students are making lap blankets for residents at The Laurels of New London, according to McDonald and classroom aid Lisa Wise.

A field trip to a secret location nearby allowed students to gather the well known mascot of The Ohio State University to be used to make the items for sale.

Wise noted a couple in New London also made a large donation of Buckeyes when they got wind of the student’s project.

Ohio is known as the Buckeye State and the Buckeye tree was adopted as the state tree on Oct. 2, 1953.

The quarter sized nut of the Buckeye tree has rich, mellow, warm brown shell and is highlighted by a beige eye. It is great for making necklaces, other jewelry and craft projects.

Students have taken the nuts, polished them and allowed them to dry for about four days. Once the nuts were dried, McDonald’s husband drilled holes in them, said Wise.

Patterns, some of which are the student’s own original designs, are used to string the nuts with beads and other items to create the jewelry and garlands.

“We have had two local organizations, the American Legion and the Eagles donate funds as well as a private donation to the project,” said Wise.

The project was begun at the end of September and will continue until Christmas break, said McDonald.

Raising funds to purchase the fleece was the goal of the project but there are added benefits, said McDonald and Wise.

“It teaches a great work ethic,” they said. “They (students) know that the appearance of the product is very important and they take great pride in their work.” Wise added, “We want them to be proud of their work and they are.” She added, “This goes to preparing them to be successful, independent, working adults.”

“Doing this,” said Logan Villa, “displaying a necklace,” makes me happy.”

Angie Ruggles-Wolfram said she really likes making the blankets and said she made a blanket and pillow before this.

All of the students agreed they enjoy working together as a group to accomplish their goal. “It’s fun and we want our projects to look good,” said Michael Franklin and John Finley.

Production continues and Wise said additional supplies have had to be purchased several times.

“This has given us ideas for future projects,” she stated. “It is good for our students. They learn to work together, make a good product they can sell and the money goes back into the classroom and they also complete community service projects.”

Orders for items are still being taken, according to McDonald. “We are asking for a donation of at least $6 for the necklaces, $3 for bracelets and $15 for a nine foot garland.” She added, “The longer the item is the more costly.”

The group has completed more than ten blankets and intends to make at least 30 more.

To order or to make a donation contact McDonald at 419-929-1586.

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