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Students fill placemats with memories for V-day

Showing off their Valentine’s Day placements full of memories are (from left) Daniel Axford second-graders Luke Huller, Zachary Buchanan, Jake Dawood and Jack Butzu. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
February 16, 2011 - Valentine's Day is usually celebrated by giving tons of flowers, candy, teddy bears and mushy heart-shaped greeting cards to the people we love.

But the second-graders in teacher Colleen Kazor's class at Daniel Axford Elementary did something different this year by giving the gift of themselves.

To the senior citizens who live at Independence Village of Waterstone, the students gave homemade placemats filled with words and colorful pictures depicting memories from their own young lives.

A small gift box was attached to each placemat, so the seniors would have a place in which to put their own memories.

The idea came from a book entitled "Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge," written by Mem Fox.

In the book, Wilfrid is a young boy who lives next door to a nursing home where he has befriended all the residents.

One day, Wilfrid is dismayed to learn that his favorite resident, Miss Nancy, has lost her memory.

Intent on giving Miss Nancy her memory back, Wilfrid sets out on quest to learn what a memory is.

He collects a variety of items which he feels best match the description of what a memory is as provided by other nursing home residents.

Once Wilfrid assembles all of objects, he presents them to Miss Nancy in a box. With each item she views, Miss Nancy retrieves memories from her life such as days spent at the beach, eggs found in nests and saying good-bye to her brother, who went off to war and never returned.

The final object helps remind Miss Nancy of the day when she first met Wilfrid and everything they had shared.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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