VIDEO: Saanich students craft arbutus berry necklaces to fundraise for Leila Bui

Eliska Polivkova strings red and orange arbutus berries onto a thread to craft a necklace. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Fourth-graders Lily Willis (left) and Autumn Bush show off the collection of arbutus berry necklaces that they and their peers made to raise money for Leila Bui’s family. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Fourth-graders Lily Willis (left) and Autumn Bush show off the collection of arbutus berry necklaces that they and their peers made to raise money for Leila Bui’s family. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 split class worked together to craft a collection of arbutus berry necklaces to sell to raise money for Leila Bui’s family. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 split class worked together to craft a collection of arbutus berry necklaces to sell to raise money for Leila Bui’s family. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Division 5 teacher Shaylene Crabb (middle) organizes students into groups for another morning of necklace-making on Dec. 4. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Division 5 teacher Shaylene Crabb (middle) organizes students into groups for another morning of necklace-making on Dec. 4. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Grade 5 student Jade Russel holds up the growing collection of arbutus berry necklaces that she and her classmates made over the past few weeks. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Grade 5 student Jade Russel holds up the growing collection of arbutus berry necklaces that she and her classmates made over the past few weeks. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Grade 5 student Jade Russel holds up the growing collection of arbutus berry necklaces that she and her classmates made over the past few weeks. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Grade 5 student Jade Russel holds up the growing collection of arbutus berry necklaces that she and her classmates made over the past few weeks. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

For the past two weeks, the garden courtyard outside Oaklands Elementary has buzzed with chatter and creativity as a group of 20 students worked to craft necklaces from arbutus berries to raise money for a Saanich child injured in a vehicle collision.

On Friday, Dec. 4, as the morning sun began to melt the frost, the Grade 4 and 5 students from Division 5 crowded into the garden and got right to work stringing the orange and red berries into long necklaces to be sold for $5 on the school’s website.

READ ALSO: Lawyer says SUV that hit Leila Bui was going 53 km/h at point of impact

Vice Principal Amei Mai, who teaches Outdoor Education to students in all grades, came up with the idea to raise money by selling necklaces after hearing about Leila Bui, who was struck by the driver of an SUV while crossing the street on Dec. 20, 2017. Bui, who was 11 at the time, was thrown several metres and sustained serious head injuries. She continues to require constant care as she uses a wheelchair and remains non-responsive.

Mai was moved by Leila’s story and wanted to find a way for students to “reach out beyond the classroom” and show support for the young girl’s family. She collected the arbutus berries on Salt Spring Island and in Beacon Hill Park and the school’s younger students worked to pluck them from the branches so the older children could bead them into long necklaces.

READ ALSO: Driver guilty in Saanich crash that left 11-year-old with catastrophic brain injuries

The Grade 4 and 5 students have been “beading in the rain, beading in the garden, beading in the classroom,” for a couple of weeks, Mai said. She noted that the project has not only been an exercise in community-building and social justice, but an opportunity for the students to learn sewing skills because many didn’t know how to tie knots or use a needle.

“We’re selling the necklaces to raise money for [Leila] and her family,” said Grade 4 student Autumn Bush, noting that Leila was injured on her way to school and now needs expensive equipment.

READ ALSO: Sister of Leila Bui to make over 7,000 cranes for fundraiser

The necklaces aren’t too difficult to make, said fellow fourth-grader Lily Willis. “Once you get used to it, it’s easy,” she said, adding that it only takes about 15 minutes to make one.

“We use a needle and thread and there are different colours of thread,” Autumn said.

The class had made 20 necklaces by Dec. 4 – the first day of the sale. The necklaces can be purchased for $5 each at oaklands.sd61.bc.ca.

Mai hopes to invite Leila and her family to the school to give them the funds once all the necklaces have sold. She joked that the school’s next jewelry-making project may be bracelets instead because the necklaces took a long time to make.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

car crashCity of VictoriaDistrict of Saanichfundraiserstudents

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vaisakhi normally would have volunteers like these women (in Surrey from a past year) preparing food ahead of the festival to be given out to the hundreds of thousands of spectactors. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria Sikhs observe Vaisakhi virtually, but find a way to give out food

Food and taking care of those in need is a big part of Sikh teachings

Victoria police are investigating the cause of a single-vehicle crash that sent one person to hospital early April 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Single-vehicle crash topples Victoria hydro pole, sends one to hospital

Police investigating whether speed or impairment were factors

The District of North Saanich has issued a notice to remove this floating structure from the waters off Lillan Hoffar Park. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Boat owner ordered to vacate waters off North Saanich park

Couple have been living in floating structure off Lillian Hoffar Park for a number of years

Victoria police continue to search for wanted man Travis Moore after he evaded an arrest attempt by slipping through the bushes in Beacon Hill Park April 11. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police continue search for wanted man following failed arrest attempt

Travis Moore, 28, is a federal offender wanted Canada wide for breaching his statutory release

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School South Campus Monday morning to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Students protest proposed cuts to SD61 music programs

Proposed $1.5-million cut would hit elementary and middle school programs

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
Vancouver Island team helps make $368 million three-tonne cocaine seizure

12 members from 19 Wing Comox involved in Op Caribbe

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read