Big Lake Middle School students have more opportunities to learn new skills with the new schedule, now in its second year. Every morning. students who need extra help with reading and math can get it. For those doing fine in those subjects, there are alternatives to choose from. One of the alternatives is needlework. Tuesday morning a class full of seventh graders were studying needlework in Family and Consumer Science Teacher Brenda Larson’s class. “The students signed up to be here so they are very motivated,” Larson said. “Next year I will have them as eighth graders. They will be able to work on more complex projects because they already know how to use the sewing machines.” Working at their own pace, students started by making pillowcases, then moved on to ragtop pillows and tote bags. Other projects included a wallet, small tote bag and a travel tooth brush and toothpaste holder. Kayla Larson was working on a purple bag with some butterfly material. “My grandmother picked it out,” she said. “I prefer pink.” “The things they make look like the things you find in the store,” Larson said. “They do a really good job.” Students learned about picking fabric, decorations like rickrack and the importance of ironing seams flat. Becca Renslow worked on a toothbrush holder. Maria Turk was using up scraps of fabric by turning them into a wallet. Aaron Williams, the only boy in the group, chose camouflage fabric to make his tote bag. When they leave the class they take a folder of information with them that includes how to thread the machines and all the patterns they have been working on. “A lot of them have already started making things at home,” Larson said.