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Fifth-grader Alex Hodson shows off one of her hand-made yarn ornaments during a recess craft session at Matthew Thornton. april guilmet 

Students add their special touch to Christmas

LONDONDERRY - A crafty fifth-grader is teaming up with her fellow Matthew Thornton Elementary School classmates to make the holidays a little brighter for area veterans, seniors and sick children.Alex Hodson, a member of Londonderry Junior Girl Scout Troop 12591, has a passion for making hand-woven friendship bracelets, a passion shared by two-dozen of her closest friends.Several weeks ago Hodson, with the help of her mother, assistant troop leader Pam Hodson, gathered up a group of friends eager to spend their recess periods indoors.On Wednesday, the girls were hard at work weaving bracelets out of rubber bands, winding yarn around popsicle sticks to make Christmas ornaments and putting the finishing touches on dozens of homemade holiday cards to take to area senior citizen facilities, the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) and local veterans organizations.“It became this big project,” said Hodson, who has her sights set on earning a Girl Scout Bronze Award.

The Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can achieve, emphasizes leadership, teamwork and community service.School officials said they're hoping the seasonal project could become an annual tradition as the fifth-grade class's legacy project.

“Some of the girls just began using the weaving looms a couple months ago,” Pam Hodson said. “They're excited to show off their new skills.”Fellow fifth-graders said they were happy to help their classmate move her project forward.

Using tiny scissors to make festive paper cutout cards, Girl Scout Taryn Kocak hummed “America the Beautiful” to herself as she put finishing touches on a veteran's card.“We just wanted to give Alex our support,” Kocak said. “She'd do it for us.”

Classmate Chloe Ferraro agreed.

“Plus, we're really into making crafts,” she said.

The Junior Girl Scout troop will deliver some of their goods in person later this month. On Dec. 19, they'll spread some holiday cheer to local seniors, along with some Christmas carols, when they visit the Birch Heights Senior Community in Derry.Plans are also in the works to deliver the remaining handmade gifts to CHaD and various veterans' organizations in time for

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