Local students find way to help community as they learn about poverty


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Through their studies, Terre Haute North students are learning about resources for homeless people in Terre Haute and how they can get involved. A 2019 count in Vigo County showed over 500 homeless people in the county.

Students in Marie Theisz’s social studies classes are currently learning about periods of poverty in US History, including the post-Civil War era, the Great Depression, the housing crisis of 2008 and even COVID-related poverty. While students in Addie Thompson’s art classes discussing “plarn” as a medium. Plarn is yarn made from plastic bags.

“Especially what we’ve experienced this year with COVID and some poverty issues in our community, we want to find a way to help,” Theisz said.

Combining the lessons from both social studies and art, students made plarn mats to offer homeless people protection from the elements. The crocheted mats are both waterproof and warm.

“Our hope is that by learning about poverty and homelessness and by making plarn, students could form a club to continue this work,” Theisz noted.

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