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                                        October 2011
"My piece represents peace and freedom all over the world . . ."                                                                              -Makiya
 

        
         On September 12, two hundred and twenty five students at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet School, in north Nashville, began making quilts for children in India, Nepal, and Afghanistan.  Fifth graders studying the Underground Railroad, the path to freedom for American slaves in 1860, learned that slaves exist today just as they did at that time.   They  made quilts and wrote letters to offer hope to children in India and Nepal, who have been recently freed from slavery. They learned about the slaves of more than a century ago, and about slavery today. They were excited to hear that they, too, could be modern day abolitionists.  Here are a few of their letters:

Dear Friends,

        My name is William.   I hope you enjoy your quilt.  How are you?  My quilt square was a star, which signified a path to freedom for American Slaves.
 
Yours truly,

William T.
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Friends,

        How are you? We've made quilts for you. My name is Trey. What is yours?  We've made quilts for you because we love you and care about you. It will keep you warm at night.  My class and I made this quilt because we are studying about freed slaves and the quilts they used, some for their masters, some for a map to freedom, and some for just plain warmth, after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. 
 
Trey L.

   
          More than Warmth has been working in collaboration with Free the Slaves http:www.freetheslaves.net  for more than eight years, sending quilts to children in India and Ghana.
 
Dear Friend,
           My name is Dia'Jonnae.  My class and I made you this quilt.  We hope you like it because we put love into it.  I hope it keeps you very warm beacause it was made with love.
 
Your friend,
 
Dia'Jonnae
                                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Dear Friend,
 
Do you like your new quilts?  We put a lot of effort into them. We hope that you are very happy! My piece represents peace and freedom all over the world.  We hope they keep you warm and remind you that you are not alone in this world. At Robert Churchwell we care for one another. Nashville, Tennessee has
people who want to, and will be there for every single one of you.
 
Yours truly,
 
Makiya K.

Dear Friend,
            Hi. My name is Danille. Today we are writing a letter to you about our freedom quilt.  We made this quilt from our fabric markers, and from our heart.  We enjoyed making this quilt. We hope you enjoy it.
 
Love,
Danielle.

Dear Friend,
 
         Hello.  How are you?  I hope you like the quilt we made for you.  My name is Brione and I'm in 5th grade.  We put love and care into this quilt, just for you.  The quilt will keep you warm through the winter because it warmed my heart.
        I'm glad I had the opportunity to do this for you.  I hope you feel glad that you received this present.
 
Love,
Bione J.
 
Hi.  My name is Kyra, and I hope you enjoy the quilt that we send you.  I hope it touches your hearts and you just say, " I love my quilt!" I love you so much, and I wish I could see you in person, but I just want you to know that we care, and you are not alone.  You have someone to care for you. It really touched my heart when they said, lets write a letter to you. If you have brothers and sisters, this is a love letter to you, and every family member you have.
 
Love,
Your Friend,
Kyra.

       
       Tracing quilt patterns, students use symbols of quilt squares rich with stories that encouraged slaves to head north, to freedom.
 
Dear Friend,
 
        Hi. My name is Tywan.  My class and I made a quilt for you.  We took time out from class to make the quilt for you.  It was made from love, kindness, and hope. I hope you like it!
 
Yours truly,
 
Tywan H.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Dear Friend,
 
My name is Bobby.  I made a quilt for you, and I put a lot of hard work into it. I was happy when I was making the quilt.  I hope you are happy.
 
Your Friend,
Bobby B.
      

      Just as we did ten years ago when we began this project,  seven classes of Kindergarten students, as an act of giving, and in creating community, opened their hearts to children in Afghanistan, opening their hands, and their hearts to others.
Two quilts were handcarried to Cuba, and one to Burundi.
Kindergarten students speak . . .
 
      "I feel good about the quilts. I like the sun and the hands." Devon W.
 
      "It makes me feel happy because we make it for families in Africa." Nilaja A.
 
      "I think it's nice to share." Kenya B.

       Thank you to all who helped quilt, draw, sew, donate fabric, carry and distribute quilts, especially the Methodist Women of Progress, Tennessee, who have sewn innumberable quilt tops.                                                                                        
                                                                                                   - Judith Biondo Meeker
More than Warmth | 110 Fifth Road | Summertown, Tennessee 38483
615-975-3880 | info@morethanwarmth.org | www.morethanwarmth.org


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