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Seaquam Secondary art auction raises money, community for Delta special needs students

The money will go toward the students’ final field trip of the year and school supplies for 2017/2018
(Left to right) Muskan Jasani, Kisa Naqvi, Abnash Bassi, Parvin Malhi, Suvansha Kohli and Maria Therese helped put together the Seaquam art auction for students in the Life Skills program. (Grace Kennedy photo)

In the evening of Thursday, May 25, family, friends and staff filled one of Seaquam Secondary’s halls to celebrate students in Delta’s Life Skills program and auction off their artwork.

The Life Skills program provides students with special needs the opportunity to learn community awarness and social skills.

“We are in our program that’s separate from the school,” Life Skills teacher Shannon Miller said. “So how do we build community with our Life Skills kids and with their typical peers?”

To solve this problem, Miller collaborated with Seaquam’s Student Leadership in Learning group. Together, they came up with the idea to hold a fundraiser featuring artworkcreated by Life Skills students.

According to Nikki Jackson, a student in the Life Skills program, putting together the auction was “a little bit fun and a little bit excellent.”

“I really liked doing art with my classmates.” she said.

The Student Leadership in Learning group helped kids in the Life Skills program create the artwork for the fundraiser, and visited the Life Skills program every few days to check in on the art.

“Some of them had some questions,” said Abnash Bassi, a member of Student Leadership in Learning. “Some of them just really wanted to talk to us and just engage.”

“When we see them around the school, they go ‘I know this person,’” Bassi continued, noting that it was a connection she hoped would continue.

In total, the art auction raised $650 for the Life Skills program. Most of that money will go to fund the Life Skills students’ final field trip — this year a trip to the beach. The rest of the money will go to buy school supplies for the upcoming year.

Bassi said the Student Leadership in Learning is hoping to collaborate with the Life Skills program to do other fundraisers in the future.

“A lot of the students that are in the program, they don’t have the opportunity to be a part of clubs and help out with some of the events we see around the school,” she said. “So it’s just really cool for them to be able to come here and see that we’ve organized something to be part of the school community.”

Nikki Jackson, one of the students in Delta’s Life Skills program, poses in front of her artwork at Seaquam’s art auction on Thursday, May 25. (Grace Kennedy photo)