GCC TRIO students gather for blanket bee


February 17, 2021

Submitted photo

Caroline Herrala pauses for a photo while working on a tie blanket during the GCC TRIO program's blanket making social event on Feb. 10.


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Ironwood - Students in the Gogebic Community College TRIO program will stay warm this winter after learning how to make tie-blankets last week.

Students were able to pick out the material they wanted for their blanket in advance, according to Kris Michel, TRIO program coordinator. When they got together on Feb. 10 for their blanket bee, the students were given a quick lesson on blanket making and then got to work.

Michel said it took them about two hours to complete the blankets, which they got to take home.

"The nice thing was it gave them a chance to socialize, which has been hard since the COVID thing started," Michel said.

In all, 22 of the 160 students enrolled in the TRIO program between both GCC's Ironwood and Houghton campuses attended the course.

However, a few additional students participated in the program remotely, Michel said. Those students had the option to participate in the course via Skype or to simply do it on their own and submit pictures of the final product, she said.

"It gave them something useful (a blanket), but more so, they could learn a skill that they could use in the future, and some of it was just a chance to be part of a community-type thing," Michel said.

To be enrolled in the TRIO program students must meet at least one of three qualifications: be a first generation college student, be considered low income, or have a documented disability. The program works to keep the students engaged in higher education and offers activities, tutoring and a peer mentoring programing.

The next activity the program has planned for the students is tubing on Mount Zion on Feb. 26.


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