A service project at Delaware Hayes High School is providing an opportunity for students to give to children in need.

A service project at Delaware Hayes High School is providing an opportunity for students to give to children in need.

For the second year in a row, students in the Family Career Community Leaders of America program are making comfort blankets to give to children at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Vicki Koogler, instructor of the school's On Your Own course, said students gave blankets to two hospitals last year, but decided to distribute them only at Grady this year.

"We wanted to be able to give them to people right here locally who need them," she said.

Students have partnered to create the no-sew fleece blankets, made by cutting and tying strands of fabric together. There are about 100 students working to create around 50 blankets.

When they are finished, the students will deliver the blankets to the hospital where the staff plans to let them meet some of the patients who will use the blankets.

"It's a neat experience for the students to be able to hand-deliver them and see the kids at the hospital that will be using what they made," she said.

Koogler said last year, the school was notified about a need for blankets, and students decided to continue the project year, since they enjoyed it so much last year.

The Family Career Community Leaders of America program admits students in grades 9-12. Students who are enrolled in the On Your Own, Parenting or Life Choices courses are required to take part in a service project every year.

Koogler said the classes are focused on providing skills students will need after high school. The parenting class requires students to spend a weekend with an electronic baby, which shows them the reality of taking care of an infant.

"Students are usually frustrated and turned off by this, which is a good thing, because they're too young to be raising children," Koogler said.

The Life Choices class is an early version of On Your Own and covers the areas of personal finance, study skills, relationships and communication.

On Your Own also covers many of the same areas as the Life Choices course but adds in topics such as insurance, and brings in speakers from the community to give lectures in various areas.

"The classes really help students figure out how to survive after high school," she said.

When asked why a class that teaches students basic life skills isn't required, Koogler said she thinks most parents would agree that it should be.

"Hopefully, parents will just encourage their students to take it, even though it's not required," she said. "It's really useful for them so that they are ready to be on their own, whether it's living by themselves or going to college."