During the fall semester, students from Rio Grande Preparatory Institute spent several hours learning how to quilt in their Executive Internship class. On Nov. 29, they delivered seven handmade quilts to children in the Pediatric Care Unit at MountainView Regional Medical Center.

Teacher April McNiece said her students put in more than 20 hours learning how to follow quilt patterns. By using precise measurements, students cut fabric to size and, piece-by-piece, sewed their labor-intensive quilts together to give to hospitalized children before the Christmas holiday.

Students were guided on this project with the support of RGPI teachers Francis Melendrez and McNiece. Students successfully completed their service project, which resulted in seven hand-stitched quilts.

(L-R: Samantha Gomez, director of women’s services at MountainView Regional Medical Center, RGPI students Desanae Gonzalez, Ammerece Michel, Milagro Ortega, Julio Garcia, Vanessa Esparza, teacher Francis Melendrez, and students Briana Mirabal and Ashley Zuniga-Arzabal)

“During the holidays, we often hear that it’s better to give than to receive,” said Superintendent Greg Ewing. “In this case, I believe these students not only made the season brighter for those children, but they also received the gift of witnessing their quilts making a difference in a child’s life.”

After the Thanksgiving break, students visited the hospital to deliver their quilts to patients who were admitted in the Pediatric Care Unit. With permission from patients and their families, the students were able to meet the recipients of the quilts, connecting with them and learning more about their experiences in the hospital.

Upon leaving the hospital, McNiece noted that her students were visibly emotional and seemed to be touched to be part of the project and service to their community. Students repeatedly stated how grateful they were to have been a part of this project, she said.

“I am so proud of my students,” McNiece said. “It made me so happy to see how much this meant to the families and to my students. The kids worked so hard, and I just feel like my cup is overflowing.”

— Samantha Lewis, LCPS Public Relations Coordinator, 575-527-5946, slewis@lcps.net