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20160331-project-linusStudents in Bell Top’s K-Kids club huddled around tables in the Art Room before school on Thursday, constructing fleece blankets for charity. They cut through the outer edges of the fabric with scissors and then tied the strands together into knots.

The blankets will be donated to patients at Albany Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital through the charity Project Linus.

Project Linus, named for the Peanuts character who always has his security blanket, is a national nonprofit that donates blankets to children in hospitals, shelters and social service agencies.

“Just the fact that a stranger made this for them is huge. It makes them feel special,” said JoAnne Marcario, coordinator of the Project Linus chapter in Albany and Rensselaer counties.

Students were taught how to make the blankets from kits, and were instructed by staff from Project Linus and Bell Top.

“Service learning is an important component of a Bell Top education,” Principal Jim McHugh said. “The students start to learn that there’s something bigger than themselves while helping others.”

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