Labrador teacher asking for donations to restart sewing


A Labrador teacher hopes to bring sewing machines back into her classroom this fall but she needs donations to help make that a reality. 

Heidi Jackson, the physical education teacher at Lake Melville School, says clothing and textiles is a potential course for all Newfoundland and Labrador schools but it hasn’t been offered in North West River for a few years. It can be difficult to offer because the course requires fabric for the grade 10 to 12 students to work with. 

“Anybody that is a crafter themselves knows that it is quite expensive. So I will get a budget for the course in September from the school, but it is a very expensive course to put off,” Jackson said. 

Jackson is asking for anyone in the province who has extra fabric or fabric scraps to get in touch with the school. She said she’s gladly accepting donations until June 2024 to ensure the kids have enough fabric. 

Jackson posted her request on Facebook as well and said the response so far has been “awesome,” with people from North West River, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and St. John’s donating items.

Different coloured fabric sits on a table.
Jackson says she’ll happily accept any fabric donations throughout the year so students in grade 10 through 12 will have enough fabric to work on. (Elizabeth Fraser/CBC)

“I think anybody that’s a crafter just really wants to see that the young kids get into it,” Jackson said. 

“Sometimes it feels like knitting and sewing is a dying, dying thing. So I think people are just excited to show everybody else what kind of fun and how useful it could be to know these skills.”

Jackson said she hopes the class teaches the kids the life skills of sewing, hemming and mending clothing, but also some craft skills of knitting and traditional Indigenous crafts as well.

Balls of yarn overflow from a box.
Jackson says she also hopes to also knitting and crafting in the class to show the kids a new creative outlet they will be able to enjoy as adults. (Axel Tardieu/CBC)

Jackson said she’s asking local Innu and Inuit crafters to see if someone is interested in coming to teach the class, and anyone who wishes to do so can also contact the school. 

“There is a lot of talent when it comes to craft up here,” Jackson said. “Things that I would have no idea even how to do myself. So I’m definitely going to be looking outside of the school and into the community.”

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