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Spicewood Elementary cobblers raise money for Highland Lakes Crisis Network

Student cobblers raise money for Highland Lakes Crisis Network

Spicewood Elementary School students and Gifted and Talented instructor Cari Orts pose with shoes they built during their semester project. The group is auctioning the shoes online and donating the proceeds to the Highland Lakes Crisis Network. Courtesy photo provided by Cari Orts

From high heels to flip-flops, Highland Lakes residents can purchase shoes engineered by fifth-grade students in the Gifted and Talented program at Spicewood Elementary School during a two-week online auction beginning Monday, April 5. The class is donating the proceeds to the Highland Lakes Crisis Network. 

“We wanted to have another engineering project, and we had never built something you could wear,” said Gifted and Talented instructor Cari Orts. 

Students began the project in February, meeting with Orts for an hour twice every week. The project’s criteria included building a shoe that was both wearable and had a heel. Students crafted their shoes out of classroom materials such as foam board, glue, and felt.

In addition to offering students a creative outlet, the project also taught them about perseverance, student Lola Gilliland said.

“(The project) has helped me learn that you’re not always going to get it on the first try,” she said. 

As the class got closer to finishing the project, Orts and her students decided to host a charitable online auction and chose the Highland Lakes Crisis Network, a group of churches working together to provide assistance to individuals in need during times of crisis and disaster. 

Students wrote creative marketing descriptions for the shoes, which are posted on the auction website. Bids start at $1 and $5. Supporters can also choose to make a donation without purchasing shoes. 

“I think it’s important to give back to the community because of what it gives us,” student Oliver Lyon said.