Walker students to hold silent ‘ox’tion

A group of students at J.W. Walker School are trying to save up some money to buy an ox. Not for themselves, but for a needy community in Africa.
A number of Grade 8 students are organizing an aptly-named silent “ox”tion to purchase an ox through World Vision Canada.
The goal is to purchase an ox for $250. Even better would be an ox and a plow, which costs $475.
“It seems like something they could really use,” said student Ian McKay, who sits on the African Relief Project committee.
The silent “ox”tion will take place this Wednesday (May 4) when the entire school will be participating in “Lunch with an Author.”
It’s a day when all parents of Walker students are invited to the school to listen to their children read a story they wrote themselves.
“All the students will have published work ready,” said Grade 8 teacher Mary Lynne Bondett, noting usually about 85 percent of parents attend.
“This is a tradition, and it’s obviously very popular,” she added.
“Lunch with an Author” is one of the events planned for Education Week, which begins today. The theme this year is “Read to Succeed.”
The day will begin at 11:30 a.m. In addition to the reading, it will include an assembly in the gym, a presentation on anti-bullying, and performances from students who participated in the Rainy River District Festival of the Performing Arts.
Students on the African Relief Project committee, many of whom are in Bondett’s class, were busy phoning local businesses last week asking for donations for their auction.
Many of the contributors are local restaurants who participate in Walker’s hot lunch program. “We’re partnering with the community,” said Bondett.
Some of the other items collected for the “ox”tion include cookbooks, some crafts, a 3-D puzzle, and a framed cross-stitch by Bonnie Caul. Many of the items were donated from students and parents in the Walker community.
In addition to McKay, other students on the African Relief Project committee are Sydney Boustead, Cody Caul, Julie Martin, and Kayla Strom.
This likely will be the committee’s last fundraiser of the year. Many of Bondett’s students also held a fundraiser in January following the tsunamis that devastated South Asia.
They had a display at the grand opening of Revco Carpet, where new owner Dave Petsnick agreed to match any donations they received, up to $500.
With the money they raised, the students bought several animals through World Vision and named them. They bought a goat named “Annabelle,” two roosters named “Sting” and “Billy Bob,” and four hens named “Penelope,” “Norla,” “Beuford,” and “Rascal.”
Bondett noted parents and students are invited to suggest names for the ox when they come to the silent “ox”tion, or the public can call her at the school.