Sinkut View has an auction underway. A fully decorated Christmas tree is being presented to the community in the form of an auction. The tree is visible at the Vanderhoof Department Store, and has $2000 worth of gifts hung on it. (Submitted photo)

Sinkut View has an auction underway. A fully decorated Christmas tree is being presented to the community in the form of an auction. The tree is visible at the Vanderhoof Department Store, and has $2000 worth of gifts hung on it. (Submitted photo)

‘Gift of a Christmas Tree’ silent auction underway

Last bid will be accepted on Dec. 11 by 3 p.m.

By Stacey Soffel

Principal, Sinkut View Elementary School

Nechako Lakes School District

COVID-19 has impacted some of the regular activities that we participate in at Sinkut View Elementary School. The physical layout of classrooms, community use, and fundraising options are some areas that have seen significant changes.

As one of the smaller rural schools in the district we need to be creative in the use of funds to sustain some of our school programs and meet areas of need. In past years, our breakfast program was supported through the after school rental of our school gymnasium to various user groups. In turn, this revenue source was used to purchase groceries for our morning breakfast program.

Unfortunately, user groups are not a part of the landscape this school year. We are extremely fortunate to have a dedicated Parent Advisory Council (PAC) who are supportive and proactive in fundraising to meet the majority of our school needs. Fund raising; however, also looks different this year with the new protocols that have been put in place for everyone’s health and safety. The world has changed, yet the needs in the classroom remain.

Increased physical distancing in classrooms has resulted in the request to use more tables than individual desks. The overall need for some upgrades and replacement to existing school furniture is consistently prevalent.To raise funds for new classroom furniture and to continue to provide the breakfast program, we knew we were going to have to be creative in our thinking.

As a staff we collaborated and came up with idea of a Christmas fundraiser. Each classroom chose one or two gifts to make and order forms went home to families for purchase. School District 91 has an amazing Carpentry Trailer and it has been parked at Sinkut View for the past two weeks, primarily used for cutting and sanding. All students are involved in creating the projects. The hands on learning has been engaging and the study of the economic feasibility has provided for rich mathematical classroom calculations and discussions – not to mention the embedded geometry, reading a tape measure and understanding board feet – just how many present gift sets can we make out of one 2 x 8 x 12 foot board?

In light of the holiday season, our Grade 5/6 teacher, Mrs. Jensen suggested the idea of a fully decorated Christmas tree that could be presented to the community in the form of a silent auction. From that simple suggestion, the idea exploded and we now have a tree with nearly $2,000 in gifts hung upon and placed beneath. The tree is on display at the Vanderhoof Department Store and the silent auction bidding begins on Monday Nov. 30 by calling the school at 250-567-5133 to place your bid until Dec. 11. The deadline for the bid on Dec. 11 is 3 p.m.

I am so very thankful to live in this community. As a former graduate of NVSS myself, the Nechako Valley has been my home for nearly 40 years. I have always known the of the kindness and support this community gives to one another, yet the generosity in this moment still leaves me in awe.

Sinkut View is blown away by the support of our school parent community and the greater community at large. Our students and staff are humbled by the response from everyone involved. We will be following the bidding closely and will post on our Facebook page in addition to putting a daily update in the window of the Department store at the end of each day.

Have any questions about the story? Email the Editor at

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