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Comfort for Kugaaruk kindergartners
Grade 10 fine arts students sew slippers for kids whose shoes were lost in school fire

John McFadden
Northern News Services
Monday, May 22, 2017

When Kugaardjuq teacher Margaret Inaksajak realized that that the school's youngest students had lost their indoor footwear in the Feb. 28 school fire, she got right to work trying to do something about it.

Guided by elder Sidonie Nirlungayuk, Inaksajak had her Grade 10 fine arts class sew slippers for kindergarten and Grade 1 students.

"Normally they would sew homemade parkas and bomber jackets, but this year some of the jackets were done - they just needed fur added -but then the school burned down. We still had a sewing project, but there were no more sewing machines," Inaksajak said.

"So we moved on to slippers and did everything by hand. The local Co-op store donated the material. We supplied the scissors, the needles, and the


From there, Inaksajak said that the Grade 10 students traced the kindergarten students' feet, created patterns and got to work with felt and fur. Several teachers got involved in the slipper-making project as well, she said.

"We made 24 pairs of slippers for all the kindergarten kids and we made nine more pairs for the Grade 1 students. We delivered them about two weeks ago. Some students made as many as three to four pairs. Each pair took about three weeks to make," Inaksajak said.

Fifteen Grade 10 students - girls and boys - participated.

"At the beginning they were sad that they lost their parkas but when I got the idea to make the slippers - the indoor shoes for the kindergarten class - the older students were happy about making the slippers for them," Inaksajak said.

She added that the kids who got new slippers were absolutely thrilled about it.

"They have indoor shoes but they would rather wear the slippers during school time, " she said.

"They were so happy they just started running around the classroom."

Not only have students learned how to sew slippers, but they have learned a life lesson about generosity and helping others, she said.

"This is a win-win situation. No one was happy about the school burning down, but the fire and this project have inspired the students to help others."

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