Teachers, school staff knit in memory of colleague killed in south side explosion

Jennifer Longworth made scarves, hats for students

GREENWOOD, Ind. - A community of teachers is keeping a tradition alive in memory of the victims of the south side explosion.

The staff at Southwest Elementary in Greenwood is working on the legacy of Jennifer Longworth.


"We care so much about not only carrying on the tradition that she started, but we care about her students and making sure they have this in memory of her," said Jennifer John, a first grade teacher at the school.

Jennifer Longworth would usually loom knit scarves and hats for her second grade students, but this year, with heavy hearts and pride, her tradition is not being forgotten.

"All of them that Jennifer had made were in the house," said knitting co-organizer Pam Hoyt. "So we started from scratch last Tuesday. We all got together and started knitting and crocheting."

"It's very emotional," said teacher's assistant Cathy Strange. "When I do this at home, I think about Jennifer, but I don't get teared up or anything. But when we come to school and do this together, that's when I remember her coming down the hallway, and how she loved her kids and how she loved football."

Jennifer and her husband Dion were killed in the explosion in the Richmond Hill subdivision.

In the knitting room, it's the inspiration of a former teacher that is the common thread behind this moment of giving and remembrance.

"This school is a very giving school, so when there is a cause, we reach out to the community or we reach out to a family that's in need. And Jennifer's class is our family," Strange said.

The deadline for all those knitting and looming is next week. Twenty-one children will get their scarves and hats before Christmas break, and the extras will be donated to Riley Hospital for Children.

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