Two fifth-grade EAST students from Don Roberts Elementary School are designing and creating weighted stuffed animals for children in the foster care system.
Zoey and Eden are fifth-grade students at Don Roberts Elementary school with big hearts for children in the foster care community.
"Right now in Arkansas, there are over 4,600 children in foster care, and I wanted to do something to help them," Zoey said.
The girls decided the best way they could help make the lives of these children a little better is by creating a new friend to provide comfort.
"We're trying to create stuffed animals for the children and are making them weighted at the bottom so they are nice and heavy for them," Zoey said.
The pair began their project inside SketchUp, where they both created their own unique designs for the stuffed animals: Zoey designed a furry and friendly sloth, while Eden opted for a snail with a rainbow shell.
"I did some research into snails to help me recreate the spiral design of the snail's shell, and looked up if there are any snails that do have rainbow shells," Eden said. "I didn't find any which disappointed me."
The project is currently small-scale, with the duo stating that they anticipate being able to create a maximum of around eight stuffed animals before they graduate to middle school, but they hope the foundation they are building can help future EAST students continue on with the project and take their own lessons from it.
"I've learned a lot about how the foster system works," Zoey said. I have also become more familiar with using SketchUp and how to work as a team."
Eden's biggest takeaway from this project so far is learning the importance of having a teammate when working on projects, especially one that is emotionally heavy.
"Teamwork helps get a lot more things done than I originally thought," Eden said. "But it also helps to have my best friend right there with me, because sometimes I get a little emotional with things like this."
Currently, the two students are learning how to sew and are working on creating stuffed animals to give to foster children at the end of the school year.