Pocket Hugs Fill a Need for Dayton Students

March 14, 2024

Since 2021, Crayons to Classrooms has distributed over 7,430 pocket hugs to Miami Valley teachers and students. This project was born after the 2020 pandemic, when teachers were seeing an increased need for students to have access to fidget toys and social-emotional learning tools in the classroom. Pocket Hugs are small, stuffed shapes that students can squeeze and play with to help them self-soothe or concentrate during class.

Pocket Hugs are an off-site volunteer project that can be done remotely. Volunteers will provide the materials to make the shapes – the fabric, thread, and stuffing – and sew the shapes together to create a pocket hug. Minimal sewing experience is required to participate in this project. On average, it only takes about 13 minutes to make one pocket hug.

Many Dayton students come to school carrying not only a backpack (if they have one) but also the baggage of poverty and other related issues. Volunteers who make pocket hugs are making a difference in the lives of local students at underfunded schools and in difficult family situations.

“A lot of students who are dysregulated or just having a tough time, we are able to give them pocket hugs,” says Katrice Grusenmeyer, second grade teacher at Fairborn Primary. “They use them as…a sensory tool and that it brings them comfort. They can rub them, they can hold them.”

To hear more of what Katrice has to say about Crayons to Classrooms’ support for her classroom, watch our WTDN Channel 2 interview here.

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