POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) - Students in Poway are trading their notebooks and pencils for needles and thread, as they make teddy bears this holiday season.
"This is hands on," says 5th Grade teacher Kimberlee Rizzuti. "They're making something. Some of these kids have never held a needle and thread."
The 5th Graders at Painted Rock Elementary School do every part of the bear-building by hand, from drawing and cutting patterns to stuffing the bears. Parents help with the sewing machines in class.
"It's pretty hard, but it's fun to do," says 5th Grader Deacon Tilley.
It's a project the school has done for about 35 years. The classes make about 100 bears total, all of which get donated to Interfaith Services of Escondido.
"We've kind of gotten away from hand made things," says Rizzuti. "This is more of a gift from the heart."
"It makes me feel happy because some people don't get a lot of things for Christmas," says 5th Grader Bella Lesagonicz. "And it just makes me feel thankful."