Student-made Aboriginal carving unveiled at Chalmers Elementary

January 30, 2014

As their names are called out, seven very proud elementary kids rise one-by-one from amongst their peers, who are all seated on the floor in the school gymnasium, and make their way to the front of the school assembly. Beaming with excited smiles and endearing shyness, each student is presented with a certificate that they have most definitely earned. These seven students are the ‘master carvers’ at Chalmers Elementary School.

“It was more than a year ago when we started working on creating a carving for your school. The master carvers went and collected the wood from Sunbury Cedar, then brought it to Burnsview Secondary where they worked for months with the secondary students to put the wood together and to start creating the design. Once it was ready for carving, we brought the wood here to Chalmers. The master carvers mentored other students in the school, so that almost every student was able to be involved in the carving in some way. Then our student painters did the finishing touches,” explained Curtis Joe Miller at the assembly. Miller is a Child and Youth Care Worker with the Delta School District, and is also a skilled carver and artist. He guided the students though their carving project.

The carving, which is roughly two meters long and one meter high, was a lot of work to complete – but it was worth it for the students. They were able to learn a new skill, while embracing their creative side and learning about Aboriginal culture. The students chose a design that is perfectly fitting for Chalmers Elementary, whose mascot is the Chalmers Stinger.

After the master carver certificates were handed out, it was time for the much anticipated unveiling of the carving. The seven master carvers, along with their two secondary student mentors from Burnsview Secondary, slowly drew back the sheet-cover. Loud applause and cheers erupted as the new carving of a yellow and black bumblebee was revealed. The carving will be hung in the school’s front hall for all students, staff and visitors to enjoy for years to come.