RIDGWAY — Students in Marcia Raubenstrauch’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Agriculture/Math) third-grade classes at Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School have been planting tulip bulbs in memory of a classmate who died in May.

This is the first “Caring for our School Community” activity, courtesy of a grant from the Allstate Foundation for beautification projects in downtown Ridgway that Raubenstrauch had applied for.

Due to COVID-19, the WE Volunteer Now Campaign is now allowing students to care for their community and “demonstrate caring for one another through action activities that look to our future with positivity and hope,” according to Raubenstrauch.

On Oct. 13, 15 and 19, the third graders have been and will be gathering around the school’s flagpole to plant bulbs as a symbol of remembrance for Hailey Matheson, who died during the school shutdown. The children also wrote a message or memory about Matheson, which have been planted with the bulb.

Later this week, fifth-grade students will also be beautifying school grounds by planting tulips near the front entrance, Raubenstrauch said.

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Raubenstrauch said her fourth-grade students added fertilizer and prepared the soil for the tulip bulbs.

“The community wants you to come out and do these positive projects,” she told the students Tuesday morning.

After Raubenstrauch demonstrated how to use the shovel, students lined up to plant their bulbs one at a time, making sure to include their message for Matheson.

At the end of Tuesday’s planting process, Raubenstrauch also had the students line up and walk around school in groups to pick up any trash they may see, while educating them on different species of trees and the importance of the environment.

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