Beyond the Bell: Operation Hit the Sack!

Beyond the Bell Graphic
Beyond the Bell: Operation Hit the Sack!
Posted on 04/24/2018
Authored by Theresa Torpey

Who doesn't have a large drawer or closet filled with used plastic shopping bags? Why not take that stash and help Stephen Decatur Middle School students to turn them into PLARN! What is plarn? Great question! Plarn is a yarn-like material that is made from recycled shopping bags, plastic yarn. What do our students do with plarn? Another great question! The plastic bags are cut into strips, tied together and then rolled to create a large plarn ball. Then the plarn is used to crochet an object. What kind of plarn objects are created? Our #BullDogPrideAcademy afterschool club, Operation Hit the Sack! is using the plarn to create sleeping mats that are distributed to the homeless community in Worcester County, Maryland.

Mrs. Winte, an educational assistant at SDMS hosts this wonderful service learning project. Together with volunteers from St. Peter's Church in Ocean City SDMS kids create the plarn and then use the art of crochet to create sleeping mats. These sleeping mats, which are distributed locally, help protect people who are sleeping outside from the elements such as the damp and cold ground.

To donate plastic bags directly to SDMS, in care of Mrs. Winte or Mrs. Torpey, please drop them off at the front office or send them in to school with any SDMS student.
SDMS's afterschool program is funded through local funding and generous partnerships within our community. You can support local afterschool programs like this through volunteerism, advocacy and in-kind donations. For more information about or to offer support for WCPS afterschool programs, contact Tamara Mills at

Beyond the Bell: Afterschool Success Stories is a new weekly web featurette showcasing the opportunities offered to students through afterschool programs across the county. Beyond the Bell is published every Tuesday.