What started as a class lesson on childhood fears has turned into a project to help children in homeless shelters in Lake County.
Students in Mundelein High School's child development classes have been studying childhood fears and ways to properly respond to those fears. Teacher Rachelle Halbur's classes discussed fears students had as children and ways they helped alleviate them.
They decided they would design and make products they call Comfort Creatures for children in Lake County homeless shelters.
"Obviously, children who are in shelters will have additional fears that other children may not have," Halbur said. "My students wanted to do something to help."
The students created their own product along with storybooks, in which the creature helps a child overcome a specific fear.
"I remembered my fears from my own childhood and realized the security I found in a stuffed animal to be incredibly comforting," student Jessica Bueno said.
Each creature is an original design handcrafted by students.
"These creatures signify hope," student Melissa Tazioli said. "No matter what situation a child is in, or where he or she is living, the creature can help calm fears."
Student Daniel Cascarano wasn't excited about the project at first.
"But I now know that I have made a difference in the life of a struggling child," he said.