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After studying about Día de los Muertos and La Toussaint, fifth grade students decorated “calaveras,” the Spanish word for skulls, and then wrote a brief statement dedicating their creation to the memory of a deceased relative. When the projects were completed, Mrs. Lee, our Elementary French & Spanish teacher displayed them in the elementary school hallway and on the window overlooking the school garden. The display, backlit by the sun streaming in from the garden was beautiful.

But she still felt something was missing.

Because the dedication cards were scrawled in small handwriting, Mrs. Lee was worried that her students’ written sentiments would go unseen, so she decided to offer them the chance to record their dedications in audio files that were then added to a compilation video that was shared with the students’ parents as part of their weekly Language update.

In a time when we are collectively grieving a multitude of specific and ambiguous losses related to the global pandemic, this exercise was a poignant reminder of our ability to express deep emotion through art, writing and the spoken word. The result proved to be a moving experience for Mrs. Lee, her students and parents alike.

We at Saint Mary’s Catholic School are incredibly grateful for teachers like Mrs. Lee who continue to use their creativity to bring projects like this alive through technology, innovation and love. We notice and appreciate their effort to go the extra mile for our community!