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Teachers carry on legacy of Indianapolis explosion victim

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 1:13 pm

GREENWOOD — Teachers mourning a colleague killed in an explosion that rocked an Indianapolis neighborhood are making sure a special legacy she started continues.

Colleagues of Jennifer Longworth at Southwest Elementary School have taken over her annual work to knit hats and scarves for the students in her second-grade class.

Art teacher Katie Webb said she didn't like the idea of Longworth's tradition stopping with the Nov. 10 blast that killed her and her husband, John Dion Longworth. So she asked teachers at Southwest and Greenwood's other elementary schools to help make the gifts for Longworth's students this year.

"I felt it in my heart that I really wanted to do that for her kids," Webb told the Daily Journal.

Two dozen teachers with varying levels of experience met recently to make the gifts. Others contributed yarn for the project.

Teachers said being able to come together over the project Longworth enjoyed has helped them deal with their grief.

"We hit a wall. And it's nice not to hurt anymore," said Becki Habig, who had never knitted or used a loom before Webb enlisted her to help with the project.

Webb and Habig said the project has been a relief for teachers who were feeling emotionally drained and struggling with the loss of Longworth.

"This is one of the things where you would see her personality shine through," Webb said.

They're also comforted knowing students will have reminders of Longworth once the work is done.

"It's a reminder that they could have for the rest of their life," Habig said.

Any leftover hats, scarves or supplies will be donated to a local charity, Webb said.