North Carolina teacher's 'granny' makes bow ties and hair bows for students

CASTLE HAYNE, N.C. -- One North Carolina fourth-grade teacher's grandmother takes a special trip once a year to deliver an end-of-the-school-year present to his classroom.

Patsy Miller's grandson Trever Todd teaches at Castle Hayne Elementary School. The 74-year-old visits Todd's classroom to bring bow ties and hair bows to his students, WWAY reported.

Each tie and bow is hand sewn and stitched at Miller's home where she uses a ping pong table as her work station.

"She's been working on them for a month, maybe even longer," Todd said.

This end-of-the-school year tradition began three years ago.

"The first year he said, 'I really would like to get the boys ties,' and I said, 'Well, we got to do something for the girls, too,' and I thought about the barrettes for the girls," Miller said.

Todd, who's known by colleagues and students for sporting a bow tie to work every day, selects the fabric for this annual project and his grandmother then goes to work.

"It's a very special thing that she does and I hope all my students think it's a special thing to remember her and me by as they go to the next grade level," Todd said.

Making dozens of bow ties and hair bows isn't easy for Miller.

"It's really sometimes hard for me to sew because of the hand stitching that I have to do, but I do it because I love to do it," Miller said. "I put cream on my hands at night, Mineral Ice to help the pain, and I take Ibuprofen for the pain but it's worth it because it's such a joy and to see these little faces and for them to come up and hug me and thank me, it just thrills my heart."

So, what's so special about a handmade bow tie or hair bow?

"I hope this token being a little more formal than their regular everyday attire will give them that confidence that they can look their best all the time," and Todd said. "If they look their best, they're going to definitely feel their best."

As this school year comes to an end, each of these students will have a very special gift to take home but the whole experience may be more of a gift for Todd and Miller.

"I love my granny so much and I'm just so thankful that I've had this opportunity to have these moments with her because I know she's not going to be with me forever," Todd said.

"It just made us feel so happy and I'm just thrilled to do this," Miller said. "It just thrills my heart."

When these kids walk out of Todd's class for the last time, hopefully, they'll remember what he taught them but the one memory they'll most likely remember years to come is how he and his 'granny' made these fourth-grade students feel extra special.
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.