A group called The Sister Circle is trying to keep Franklin County preschoolers warm and comfortable.

The three-person team based in Moneta is donating blankets with a handcrafted touch to every prekindergarten and early childhood special education student in Franklin County Public Schools. They’ve delivered to seven schools so far, and plan to donate 250 blankets for that project.

The Sister Circle bought the blankets but crocheted the edging with the help of volunteers. A local church donated the yarn.

The students will use the blankets during naptime and can take them home to keep at the end of the school year.

The group is composed of Carol Moyer and two other women who asked that their full names not be used. Franklin County School Board member Donna Cosmato, who represents the Boone District, said The Sister Circle donated hygiene products to two schools before discovering other needs in the school system.

Cosmato volunteers with the group and said members want to donate blankets to all Franklin County students who are part of the school system’s free backpack program. Those students include elementary and middle schoolers. Cosmato said that expanded goal will require delivering another 417 blankets.

Cosmato said the group is seeking more donations and volunteers who can crochet. Anyone interested in helping the organization can call (540) 721-4973.

Roanoke School Board honors senior, graduate for national awards

The Roanoke School Board on Tuesday recognized a Patrick Henry High School student and a recent William Fleming High School graduate for their achievements.

Amara Wingo, a senior at Patrick Henry and a Teachers for Tomorrow Cadet, earned a sixth place award at the Educators Rising National Competition in Dallas, Texas, this summer.

The competition tasks young, aspiring teachers with demonstrating their knowledge and ability in education. Wingo won for a lesson she prepared titled, “Becoming a Trauma-Informed Teacher.”

She also worked as an instructional assistant for Roanoke’s summer enrichment program this year.

Cassidy Smith, who graduated from William Fleming High and the Roanoke Technical Education Center this year, received an award through the Future Business Leaders of America Conference.

Smith earned a business achievement award. She was the only student in Virginia to complete all major requirements for the award in a single school year. The award honors students who demonstrate strong leadership, business skills and community service.

Smith is now a student at James Madison University and plans to earn a degree in computer science.

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