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

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Hot rods, rad rods, muscle and sports cars spanning the decades made their way in a parade from North Saanich to Victoria on June 19. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Classic cars cruise Saanich Peninsula in advance of Father’s Day

Retirement home residents from North Saanich to Victoria treated to a spectacle of hot rides

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read