Photo from left to right: Denizhan Pak,  Laurel West, Tianrui Dong,  Sarah Rowan, Laura Catherine Feamster,  Beverly Paz, Taylor Black,  Hayley Rutchow, Karen Mauldin, Debbie Mace, Pritali Amrutkar, Hana Aleryani, Grace D’Andrea, Kate Jackson, Eleanor Petit-Kruse

Recently the Franklin High School (FHS) International Baccalaureate students spent their Saturday making the first 50 of a planned 100 dolls for an organization in Haiti called Goals Beyond the Net (GBN). GBN is a non-profit organization whose vision is to improve the lives of children living in extreme poverty. A component of the FHS IB program requires junior and seniors to participate in 150 hours of activities. The doll making project provided the opportunity for students to work collaboratively on a project that will bring joy to children in the western hemisphere.

Teachers like Karen Mauldin and Ray Scheetz help grow this unique opportunity for students in Williamson County. Franklin High is the only IB school in Williamson County and one of only a handful in the state. Franklin High IB students joined together to make hand-made dolls for children in Haiti and their hope is for a few of them to travel to Haiti and deliver the gifts personally.

Denizhan Pak, Kate Jackson, Taylor Black, Karis Moelker (Back to Camera)
From left to right: Denizhan Pak, Kate Jackson, Taylor Black, Karis Moelker (Back to Camera)

The next official work day for students is November 2nd but many of the students have taken the project home to sew on the button eyes or enhance the dolls with accessories. “I followed my girlfriend into this project, but it was a fun and enjoyable time,” said “D” Denizhan Pak the only male working the project. Kate Jackson said “everything you can do for those less fortunate is worth it; I had a free Saturday, so I did it.” She says she learned to give back from her Mom, a children’s minister.

Laurel West said “it was easy to do, to help.” Hana Aleryani’s eyes light up talking about the experience and the need over in Haiti, “we are helping little kids.” Hayley Rutchow explained how the dolls were sewn on a machine, stuffed and finished by hand. The students donated everything but the cloth the dolls are constructed from and brought in their own sewing machines, needles, thread etc.

Dolls Made by Franklin HS StudentsThey work when time and space is available and many of the band students pitch in to help as well. They will likely get to their goal of 100 after the next workshop. Now they are seeking help with providing “Frisbee’s” or “hacky saks” for the male children in Haiti. If you want to help the program please contact Karen Mauldin at or Ray Scheetz at Donations to the IB projects and sponsorships are always welcome.

Check back with us next week as we delve deeper into the FHS IB and their future endeavors.