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Students connect, share family histories

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POLSON – Making and cultivating memories was part of the inaugural Heritage Night at Linderman Elementary last week.

On Thursday night, families, students, teachers and staff gathered at the school to view students’ projects, which featured people they had researched as part of their heritage.

Each student made a project about a relative or friend of the family, third-grade teacher Brittany Simonich said. This included making a family tree and a map representing where the person was from.

Each second, third and fourth-grade class made a Native American heritage art project using ledger art, which focused on the transitory period Indians faced as they moved onto reservations from 1860-1900.

The focus of the projects was to bring families and the community together and to help students feel connected to where they’re from. 

Nashay Johnson, a Pablo fourth-grader in Mary Larson’s class, did research on her late uncle, Shad Burland, who died in a dump truck accident in 1997.

Burland’s mother and father, Dick and Robin Burland, helped their granddaughter with the project.

“I was very happy to do it,” said Robin Burland, who volunteers at the school. “It isn’t anything you ever get over,” she said of her son’s death. “She did a great job.”

The idea for Heritage Night came out of the school’s Family Partnership Committee, which is made up of 15 teachers.

It is one of four such “family nights” school staff is planning this year. 

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