A moment in time

Second-graders build time capsules to open graduation day

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Hayden Valley Elementary School second-graders know what they want to be when they grow up.

Damara Micklich wants to follow in her father's footsteps by becoming a police officer. Brooke Benz wants to take her experience riding horses at her grandparents' house to riding in the rodeo. Garrett O'Hanlon wants to be a biologist "because it's fascinating."

The Hayden youngsters are confident about their career choices now, but surely some will change their minds during the next decade of grade school. Their teachers, however, are making sure the students will remember what the wanted to be when they were in second grade.

Thirty-four students in two second-grade classes are building individual time capsules to be sealed and then opened the day they graduate from high school. The creation of the shoe-box size Rubbermaid capsules is made possible by a $440 grant from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

"They study the past, present and future, and this is a way to tie it together for them," said teacher Melany Neton, who brought the idea for time capsules from another school district where she worked. "This is their present and future now, but it will be their future when they open their capsules."

"They will be able to open up a slice of time," teacher Holly Hoskins said.

The items they are putting in the capsules include narratives of career aspirations, what they will be doing in 10 years, what they think about Hayden, handprints and footprints, personal photos, teacher photos, personal memorabilia, a list of favorites and even this newspaper article.

While teachers expect students' favorite things and career aspirations to change over time, some students are sure they will not.

Belle Mazzola said she always will ride motorcycles, just like she rides her dirt bike now, and Alexander Kuhn said he will watch cartoons forever.

Sharon Nereson is helping her daughter, Heather, put together a scrapbook that will include a letter from her 101-year-old great-grandmother, Ruby Wright. Nereson said the project is a great way to get parents involved in preserving memories.

Parent Jennifer Zehner is "an avid scrapbooker" who is helping her daughter, Olivia, assemble one for her time capsule.

"I think it's wonderful," Zehner said. "It's something great to involve the parents and grandparents."

The students are excited, too.

Abi Scott thinks looking at current pictures of her friends when she graduates will be the most fun part of opening her time capsule. Riley Trousdale thinks the best part will be reading the cards from her family members.

"I'm sure they will bring some tears to parents eyes when they open them on graduation day," Nereson said.

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