Sitting before their gathered peers Friday afternoon in a school assembly, 16 Woodward-Granger Elementary School students were shorn of their eight-inch pony tails and pig tails in the school’s first-ever “hair-donating assembly.”
Jenna Tweeten, W-G Elementary School counselor and PBIS internal coach, said the students were donating their locks to the Beautiful Lengths wig-creating program, sponsored by hair-care product maker Pantene.
“We have so far over 13 students and community members who will be participating,” said Tweeten, “and they’re cutting their hair over eight inches for this program, which creates wigs for those who are fighting long-term illness.”
The donors ranged in age from first through fifth grade.
Tweeten thanked the children for their “random act of kindness.”
Michelle Fitch of Granger, a coach at W-G Elementary, and Georgina Valle, a kitchen and library staffer at the school, addressed the students before the shearing and explained how cancer sometimes robs its victims of their hair.
They said wigs, such as those the children’s donated hair will help produce, can bring help and comfort when one is ill.
“Besides feeling sick sometimes and besides going to the doctor all the time, you have to have no hair, too,” Fitch told the children. “It’s kind of a bummer.”
But a wig made of donated hair helped solve the hair issue on days when she was feeling good and wanted to go out, Fitch said.
“I could put my wig on and feel normal and blend in with everybody, and nobody knew that I had cancer,” she said. “It was just one of those ways that was nice. It made me feel better about myself for a day, and I could forget about having cancer.”
W-G Elementary School Principal Matt Brummond praised the donors for their commitment and said he hoped the event would become annual. He joked with the children about his own hair.
“Obviously I would love to do it,” Brummond said, “but there isn’t eight inches growing off of this head.”