EAST MARLBOROUGH—Unionville Chadds Ford Middle School Art Teacher, Sherri Schultz, organized more than 100 community members to help weave mats from recycled plastic bags to make sleeping mats for the homeless.

The project is ongoing as it takes “a considerable amount of time to create the ‘plarn,’ said to Schultz. “Plastic bags turned into yarn, to weave them on the loom, in addition to crocheting around edges and crocheting straps,”

The project first began three years ago, when Schultz attempted to crochet plarn into sleeping mats, but the time it takes to crochet mats is extremely time consuming. Schultz then went to Jason Palo in the Middle Schools Tech Education department with a modified loom design to build and expedite the process.

“I am always looking for ways to recycle and create art,” said Schultz. “This project not only incorporates both, but puts those bags that were otherwise garbage to a better use helping the less fortunate,”

After seeing how excited the students were to create these mats, help others and recycle old plastic bags, Patton Middle School Principal Steve Dissinger approached Schultz about turning the project into the school’s MLK day service project.

The day of service saw more than 100 community members, parents, students and teachers work together to create three new mats during the three-hour session.

The mats will be donated to the homeless community in Philadelphia.

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