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Paynter Elementary School student project is rolled up with love

Randy Jarosz | For The South Hills Record
Students in Kristen Knorr's fifth-grade class at Paynter Elementary School — (left to right) Caroline Dowling, Makenzie Shandor and Dominique DiDomenico — make duct tape flowers.

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By Brittany Goncar
Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7:07 p.m.

Recess is the most coveted period for any elementary school student.

Kristen Knorr's fifth-grade class at Paynter Elementary School gave up their time in the sunshine to cut and fold little squares of duct tape into ornate flowers sold for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

The students raised $1,000 by making and selling duct-tape flowers for $1 a piece. They used colored and patterned duct tape to fashion the petals around a pen. The majority of the supplies were donated by the parents.

“They inspired me to want me to do more,” Knorr said. “I'm so proud of the commitment. They had the option to stay after. They were giving up recess, and the weather was nice. I can't believe how willing 10- and 11-year-olds were to give back.” After Christmas break, the students decided that they wanted to help children who weren't able to be home with their families or go to school. Several students stayed after school and took supplies home over the weekend. The profit was donated to the hospital's Hematology/Oncology Life Unit on May 28.

Paynter provided the class with a school bus so all the students could present the check together.

“When I heard that, it made it a little more special,” said Amanda Olar, developmental associate of annual giving. “This wasn't a class project. They came up with it on their own.”

The ninth floor is home to some of the most severely ill patients, which is why Knorr's class wanted to help them. The donation will go toward buying games, videos, craft supplies and anything else that could serve as a distraction for the children going through chemotherapy or radiation.

“They made some extra (flowers), and our staff delivered them to some of the patients here at the hospital,” Olar said. “It's cool that kids here, that can't be at school, know that other kids are thinking about them. It's really special.”

Brittany Goncar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or

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