Headgear helps kids read

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Elementary school students in Independence are setting a fashion trend. But it's not in a design class, it's actually helping them learn to read.

Fritzanna Lyke has volunteered with children most of her life. So when she retired a year and a half ago, she went to LINC and found a school to volunteer at to keep herself busy.

Little did she know how busy she would be.

When she started helping kindergartners learn to read at Fairmount Elementary this year, she was giving out stickers as rewards.

When a student admired Lyke's homemade headgear, she thought that would make a nicer reward.

She let the students choose their two favorite colors for the hand-crocheted headbands.

The headwear got so popular, it caught on with the fifth graders, then the third graders.

"Then another class wanted it, and another class wanted it. Altogether I've made almost 200 of them so far," she said.

Lyke says she can keep up with demand, turning out four or five a night.

She says it's good physical therapy, maybe staving off arthritis.

She's happy to do the work to reward the kids for all of their hard work.

"You can see the changes in their reading from the beginning to where they are now, and that's very important," she said.

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