CommunityOne Class at a Time


One Class at a Time: Hellgate Middle School's Heidi Hanks

OCAT Heidi Hanks
Posted at 10:29 AM, Apr 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-18 12:29:46-04

MISSOULA - This week's One Class at a Time grant winner is Hellgate Middle School teacher Heidi Hanks who is teaching practical skills one “seam” at a time.

Although she originally wanted to be a high school math teacher, Hanks has found a job doing what she loves, with people she loves.

“And these are all the things that I love to do, I love to create things, I grew up my grandma sewed, so I was always around it.”

Hanks teaches seventh and eighth grade Family and Consumer Science Classes at Hellgate Middle School. Because she’s a natural teacher and sewer, she has a couple of fun projects up her sleeve.

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“Every first grade class, so this will be our last group of first graders, but they draw us a big like 10x12 monster. And they could have whatever eyes and colors and arms and spikes they want and then my eighth graders turn them into — I’ve actually got one right here — like little stuffed animal monsters.“

Hanks will use her $250 grant to buy materials like fabric, thread, and even buttons to make the last round of little monsters for the school year.

The project is perfect because it teaches things like button sewing and tracing designs, but it also brings things full circle when her eighth grade students give the monsters back to their first grade designers.

"It’s really cute to see the first grader’s reactions and so they really enjoy it. They like making it for them. We have an auction with the pictures and I hold up the pictures and so they’re bought in from the get-go, I’m not assigning anything — they get to choose.," Hanks explained.

Whether it’s one class or one seam at a time, Hanks is bringing the art of sewing alive to Missoula middle school students.

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One Class at a Time application
Apply here for a $250 grant