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School Knitting Factory

It's an activity that's usually associated with grandmothers, but kids aren't sheepish about it, and if idle hands do the devil's work, Seth Boyden Elementary in Maplewood, N.J. is full of angels.

On snowy days, something happens in the school hallway that is anything but typical -- knitting.

As CBS News Correspondent Tracy Smith discovered, it all started with Judith Symonds, an instructional aide who had an idea for a recess activity when the playground was frozen over.

"Knitting is something that I have always done, and I knew if we could get kids interested, it would be successful," says Symonds. "So, one day, I decided to sit in the hallway and knit [to] see if someone would come and ask me what I was doing."

One child led to another, and, in just one year, over 200 students have learned to knit and purl through the school's "Knitting a Community Together" program. And contrary to social stereotypes, it's a popular activity with girls and boys.

The young knitters say they could be doing other things during their free time, but they prefer knitting because it's fun. They make scarves and blankets, which a lot more constructive than playing kickball and video games.

The program is so popular, even the school custodian has picked up a pair of knitting needles.

"Usually, I'm running around up and down in the building doing this and doing that," says Malik Muhammad. "I can get a little free time with the kids."

Sometimes adults learn from children who have become "master knitters" in the program such as Regina Rore.

Skill level aside, Symonds says there's a bigger lesson for kids and adults to learn at the school.

"For most kids, it's tough," says Symonds. "But, they know and they tell each other. You can walk down the hall and you can hear them say it, 'Don't give up. Don't give up. If you don't give up, you'll get it.' They know if they don't give up, no matter what they're doing, they'll get it."

Teachers also say knitting can improve eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills and, even, math scores.