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A group of Mason City Alternative School students is using sewing skills to give back to the community.

About seven male and female students made dental-hygiene kits and cancer-port pillows during their Math on a Machine class that will be distributed to local elementary students and cancer patients, respectively, this week.

The class, which combines math, hands-on learning and 21st century skills, is taught by Alternative School teachers Stephanie Waters and Deadra Stanton. It’s been offered the past two years.

“I like the feeling of being able to put something together and see it finished,” said Marlene Vazquez, a Mason City Alternative School 10th-grader in the class.

During the class, students learned to sew, iron, stuff, flatten and fold fabric as well as applicable math, including measurements.

They completed pillows, rice bags, potholders and others.

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The 24 handmade hygiene bags featuring a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss donated by Dr. Jay Lala, a dentist at Central Park Dentistry, will be distributed Wednesday, while the 21 port pillows will be delivered to the MercyOne North Iowa Cancer Center Friday, Waters said.

“I think this is the only school that opens you up to things outside, things you would need on a regular basis,” said Jade Green, Mason City Alternative School 10th-grader. “It gives us more opportunities than at another school.”

Supplies for the class, like the sewing machines and fabric, were purchased through the Mark Stanton Memorial Fund.

Photos: Mason City Alternative School students sew for community

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Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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