Sixth grade students in Becky Holcomb’s art class at Brownwood Intermediate School are learning a new art form – the art of giving.

    “I want the students to know that this time of year is not all about what we want for ourselves, but what we can do for others,” Holcomb said.

    Beginning two weeks before Thanksgiving and lasting until the Christmas break, sixth grade art classes have undertaken several community service projects as part of their instruction.

    They have collected 350 pounds of canned goods for Good Samaritan Ministry’s food pantry and donated dog food to the Corinne T. Smith Animal Shelter.

    In December, the students made 325 Christmas cards for local nursing home residents.

    Their final, and largest, volunteer project is making 400 Christmas stockings for St. David’s Medical Center’s Pediatric Cancer Floor in Austin. Holcomb’s sister is a nurse at St. David’s, and she told her about the stocking project. Stockings made by students are placed in the hallway of the pediatric cancer floor, bringing holiday joy to the patients. In return, the young patients will write letters back to the students who made the stockings.

    “It is just a little thing we can do, but it is a tremendous blessing,” Holcomb said.” It also is good interaction between the two groups of kids.”

    Holcomb provides the materials, and the students craft the stockings however they choose. Seventy-two sixth graders had a hand in the project. The stockings were mailed to St. David’s on Wednesday.

Emily Crawford is the community relations coordinator for the Brownwood Independent School District.