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Making Holiday Gifts

Students at Langston Hughes learn to make clothing and toys.

It’s not everyday, a 12- or 13-year-old student can say he or she plans to make gifts for the holidays.

But that was the case for several students at Langston Hughes Middle School this past fall.

“I made a scarf I might give to my sister,” said Ben Dubishar, 13.

Hajar Ahmed, another eighth-grader, plans to give a hand-sewn scarf she made to her father for the holidays.

One prolific 13-year-old, Jordan Hostetler, made seven scarves. “I’m going to give one to both grandmas and two to my aunts for the holidays,” said Hostetler.

IN THE LAST four months, students in Cynthia Yobs’ Family and Consumer Sciences class have made plush toys, boxer shorts, scarves and gym bags. “I hear their friends say to them, ‘Wow, you made that,’” said Yobs of some of her students’ creations.

Dubishar made two plush footballs, one in the team colors of Purdue University and the other in red and black, with the words, “Herndon: Class of 2010.” Dubishar, a Herndon resident, made the football as an early graduation present.

Lane Collins, a seventh-grader, also learned how to make plush toys. She made a bright green plush turtle. “I’m going to put it in my room,” said Collins.

Wanting to add to her stuffed-animal collection, Jasmine Jones, 13, made a tear-away cow. “It’s a stuffed animal with three separate parts you can take apart,” said Jones, who added that the hand sewing was the hardest part.

Monica Rivera, 13, worked hard on her plush toy. She made a plush angel bunny. “My mom took it so when I grow up my children can see it when they grow up,” said Rivera. For now, though, Rivera’s mother has the toy on display “so everybody can see it.”

After taking Yobs’ class, a favorite for many students, the apprentice seamsters have a new appreciation for clothing. “They realize what’s involved in making different garments,” said Yobs . “They also learn how to repair clothing rather than throwing it out.”