Woman honored for crocheting more than 100 hats for school staff

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EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) - Inside the school cafeteria at Frontier Elementary, nearly 1,000 students, staff and parents gathered for a typical weekly assembly, unaware that something very atypical was about to happen.

Principal Cara Jernigan called News 4 to set up a surprise Pay It 4Ward for a mom in the crowd, who single-handedly crocheted 112 beanies in school colors, teal and orange.

Kim Bartlett wanted to keep teachers and staff warm during the colder months as they welcome and dismiss students outside each day.

Kim delivered the beanies in two boxes to Cara's office.

"I had tears in my eyes. I was crying. I had chills and just told her, you know, 'We work really hard at Frontier to teach our students about going above and beyond, going the extra mile,'" Cara said. "And she did that with this labor of love. I wanted the students to see this, as well."

So, during the assembly, Cara told the crowd that some surprise guests had a special announcement to make.

That's when News 4's Heather Holeman and First Fidelity Bank's James Boggs came out to surprise Kim with the $400 award.

"We are happy to be here today. We were backstage hiding because we heard that you all were getting some awards this morning, and we have an award that we would like to hand out for kindness," Heather said.  "We have a program called Pay It 4Ward with First Fidelity Bank, and that's when we give someone $400 for spreading kindness," she said. "So, at this time, we'd like to call Kim Bartlett and her daughter Avery to the front."

The applause began as Kim and her fourth-grade daughter made their way to the microphone. "Oh my gosh, you guys," Kim said as she hugged Avery.

Cara handed Kim the money and said, "On behalf of Channel 4 and First Fidelity, I want to pay it forward to you, Kim. Thank you for showing the Frontier standard, and being a model of example and excellence to our students."

"Oh my gosh, thank you, thank you! That's so awesome, thank you guys, thank you so much," Kim said.

The roaring applause was the cue for yet another surprise – every teacher there brought their beanie and put them on in unity.

A sea of teal and orange dotted the crowd.

Heather asked, "How does this make you feel to see all this love out here?"

"It makes my heart happy," Kim said smiling.

Kim spent at least three weeks crocheting, while Avery kept her mom's secret until the beanies were delivered.

Kim is also a school volunteer and was actually working at the school store the day News 4 arrived.

"I just love serving and I love helping others, and you know, our schools need help," Kim said.

Humility is another one of this Pay It 4Ward recipient's many talents.

"Just a little gesture, I don't think I deserve it," Kim said.

Pay It Forward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.

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