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Roxboro Elementary Students Show Gratitude By Creating Tapestries
May 22, 2023 -- The students of Roxboro Elementary School and the parishioners of nearby St. Paul’s Episcopal Church are inextricably woven together. Following the return to in-person learning after the pandemic, St. Paul’s reached out to the school’s leaders to see whether they could be of assistance. And indeed they could.

Nearly every teacher in the building had requested a tutor from Many Villages, a Reaching Heights sponsored program that places community volunteers in classrooms across the district to help students with reading or other academic areas. Tina Emancipator, parent and Many Villages Coordinator for the Roxboro Elementary Parent Teacher Association, said that she was able to fill every teacher’s request last year and that by this year, she did not have to recruit volunteers because many parishioners were eager to return.

One of the Many Villages volunteers was a pastor from St. Paul’s, who so enjoyed his time at the school that he organized participants to help at the book fair. The church took it one step further, raising and donating enough money for every child in the building to purchase their own brand new book from the fair.

That winter, St. Paul’s held a special vigil during their Christmas celebrations to raise money for various organizations they support, so the PTA received another check. “It’s been two years of amazing support,” said Ms. Emancipator. “St. Paul’s Church has really become a true partner for Rox El.”

Ms. Emancipator, who is also a fiber artist and owner of Nature of the Not, wanted to work with students to create a gift to show their gratitude to St. Paul’s. She settled on a tapestry with two woven lines completed by every single student in the building. “This is symbolic of how interwoven their community is with ours,” she said. “They’ve impacted every student at Rox El and now every single student has had a hand in creating this piece.”

She spent two weeks visiting each classroom with a portable loom and more than a dozen colorful yarn choices. Students would come out one by one to choose their yarn and weave their lines. “It’s a really unique work of art that St. Paul’s can hang in their building.”

The tapestry was presented to representatives from St. Paul’s at the Many Villages Thank You event that the school held in the gazebo on their playground on May 10.