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St. Joe's students give back

Jessica Klinkenberg
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 22/06) - Less than six months after a fire damaged their school, students at St. Joseph's have taken on Christmas projects to help people in the community and around the world.

Two Grade 6 girls, Grace Chambers and Mallory Beland, got their classmates involved in raising money to help families through the World Vision organization.

"My family sponsored a child and we got a magazine," Beland said.

"I showed it to Grace and we decided to bring it up to our class."

Through bake sales and hot dog sales their class was able to raise $500.

This could have gone to helping with the school's retrofit but instead it's gone to buying things a community in the Third World would need.

"We bought a goat, soccer balls...we got one medical clinic re-stocked and three little pigs," said Beland.

"It kind of makes you feel good."

In Grade 5, Kyle Lower's class decided to do something a little more local.

"I know what it's like to be cold," Lower said.

His homeroom teacher brought up the concept of Coats for Kids, and for the last couple of months they've been getting the word out to students and parents in the school.

"It's helping them pass on something that they're not using," said Principal Flo Campbell.

To date, 30 to 40 coats have been collected and will be distributed to children across the NWT.

Grade 1 student Caitlin Zorn said her class decided to make decorations for the hospital, for the people who have to be there over the holidays.

"We made two each, but they're both different," classmate Tyler Mailman said.

"They didn't realize that there'd be people in the hospital at Christmas," kindergarten teacher Danielle Cuvelier said.

The kindergartners had Grade 6 buddies helping them with the decorations.

"The kids asked if they could give (the second decoration) to their buddies," said Cuvelier.

One Grade 7 class decided to help raise funds for wheelchairs for children in Mexico.

"We've sold raffle tickets for framed pictures," Spencer Rivers said.

The class has also held bake sales.

They managed to raise $600, which will purchase six wheelchairs.

"We talked about different things," said teacher Charla Kennedy.

"It's mostly the kids that decide what we're going to do."