Feature Stories

Excelsior Students Make Teddy Bears for Children in Refugee Camps

Over the past month, fifth graders at Excelsior Elementary have been hard at work making teddy bears for children in refugee camps. The handmade bears will be donated to Dolls of Hope, an organization that has delivered toys to over 35,000 children in 39 countries since 2016.

Principal Stacy Decorsey, who headed the project, first heard about Dolls of Hope from a friend who was also making teddy bears. She thought that the idea would be a great way to help children in need, and asked a group of fifth graders to join in. "I told them I had a project and needed some help. They were very excited," says Mrs. Decorsey. "For several weeks students have been working from their classrooms and coming to my office to help. Students choose fabric, they cut out the bears. I then sew them together. Students then stuff the bears and sew them closed."

Their goal in mid-January was to make 100 bears by Valentine's Day. The fifth graders blew their goal out of the water, making a total of 135 bears. Many students were able to participate, including Jack Enger, an e-learner who made bears from home. Enger, who loves to sew, made a bear from start to finish by himself.

Throughout this project, students like Enger have been able to learn about how children their own age go through many different challenges. They are getting the opportunity to learn about what refugee camps are, and how important the work they are doing is to the people who live in them.

Like many recent events throughout the district, this project highlights the incredible spirit of service that is present throughout Minnetonka. We are so proud of our students for all that they do to help others!

If you would like to help out and make a bear, visit the Dolls of Hope website, download a bear pattern and drop off your finished bear at Excelsior Elementary. Bears will be sent out on February 25.

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