Baker students remembered in memory garden - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Baker students remembered in memory garden

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October 4, 2007

Baker County-  Third graders at Baker Elementary are planting a lasting memorial for two students killed in a tornado earlier this year. Thursday students dedicated a memory garden to nine year old Kierra Crumbley and 13 year old Kursty Thomas. Both were killed March first when the tornado tore through Baker County. Teachers want this garden to prove a life lesson.

Third graders at Baker County Elementary were busier than the butterflies they released earlier in the day.

"Digging holes for the flowers," said Jalen Robinson, a third grader.

"They've dug every hole for every flower out there, every piece of pine straw they've helped with, so they own it," said Bonnie Walton, a Third Grade Teacher.

It's giving students hands on experience with lessons in the classroom about life cycles.

"First it's an egg, then it's a caterpillar, then it's a chrysalis, then it hatches," said Fabiola Alba, a Third Grader.

"We've used this for math class and graphing, counting insects we see each day. We've done writing lessons using this and all kinds of reading," said Walton.

And for life lessons, because this memory garden is also a tribute to two students who's lives were cut short March first. Two benches stand for nine year old Kierra Crumbley and 13 year old Kursty Thomas killed when the tornado tore through Baker County.

"This is a memory garden, we're celebrating that the two kids that died in the tornado and that was Kierra and Kursty, so we made a little pond to remember them," said Robinson.

"It's hard for them to honor them, they don't know how they can do this and this way they can actually put their hands on this, they're bringing stones from home, from their own homes to put around the pond and its a place for them to go and remember the children, they won't be forgotten," said Walton.

A way for Kierra and Kursty to be a part of the learning process for years to come.

"And we're growing this garden so, we can remember and they'll never be left out," said Robinson.

The garden wouldn't have been possible without help from Baker County's Hands on Georgia chapter and the SOWEGA Master Gardeners and local businesses like Camilla Walmart who have donated time and supplies to make the garden grow.

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