About 16 wooden toy ducks made by 12 pairs of hands are packed and ready to go to the Richmond Christmas Fund.
The Hugh Boyd Grade 11s and 12s have been working on the ducks as part of their carpentry class.
For the past couple of months, they’ve filed through the classroom and formed an assembly line, cutting out the bodies, sanding down the wood, making the wheels and the knobs.
“I often find students live in a bubble so it’s nice for them to do something for somebody else, rather than focus on their own projects,” said teacher Simon Nowak.
“Richmond has such a huge discrepancy between the well off and the not so well off, and although our school has a wide range, some students are definitely still immune to it.”
Two years ago, Nowak watched as one of the wheeled wooden ducks captivated his young daughter, while she pushed it around gripping the long handle.
He decided they’d make a great toy donation.
He had one of his students research local charities, encouraging them to work beyond the school and within their community.
“It’s a really fun experience,” said Grade 11 student Ben Minci, who is now working on Christmas gifts for his grandparents. “I love woodworking, it’s so hands on, and it feels good that you can see others enjoy what you’ve made.”
Each duck takes about four hours to make and would probably sell for about $40, according to Nowak.
Last year, the class donated 19 ducks, while this year they gave a few for other Hugh Boyd students to sell in a fundraising effort for a trip to Africa.
“It feels good to know you can make stuff for kids less fortunate,” said Ben.
In another effort to move outside the classroom, the students also make wooden puzzles with the preschool students next door.
“It’s cool to see the way they open up to the younger kids and help others,” said Nowak.