Fri, Jul 12, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Yilan students make pens, pencils to fund school trip

By Chang Yi-chen and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Students and teachers from Hushan Elementary School in Yilan County on Tuesday display pencils and fountain pens made by the students in the school’s carpentry workshop.

Photo: Chang Yi-chen, Taipei Times

Students graduating from Hushan Elementary School in Yilan County are raising money to fund a school trip by selling pencils and fountain pens they made in the school’s carpentry workshop.

The experimental education school is best known for teaching students about nature by interacting with the forests and mountains in the area, principal Lin Kuang-chang (林光章) said on Tuesday.

The students are making the pens and pencils with equipment that he purchased last year for the workshop and discarded timber they collected on field trips to the woods near the school, he said.

Making pens and pencils was originally meant to be part of a carpentry class, but the 19 graduating students decided that they wanted to fund the trip themselves, instead of causing a financial burden for their families, he added.

Money raised in excess of the amount needed to fund the trip would be donated to charitable causes, as per the students’ wishes, Lin said.

The school trip is to take the students by rail and bicycle to the Walami Trail (瓦拉米步道) and Dulan Mountain in Hualien and Taitung counties respectively, among other places of natural splendor south of Yilan, he added.

The students are crafting the one-of-a-kind pens and pencils in the summer heat under the supervision of teacher Lin Hung-tsung (林宏宗), who said the children often scrape their fingers on the timber.

The fine motor control required for carpentry is good exercise and helps the students learn patience, while summer work teaches discipline, he said, adding that they are setting a good example for the rest of the school.

Carpentry can be a trying and frustrating process, student Lin Chin-chi (林靜綺) said, but added that she feels a great sense of accomplishment when putting the finishing touches to a pen or pencil that has turned out just right.

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