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Riverview students mark their first year in a time capsule

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

Nolan Greenburg wanted his students to have something that would stand out and identify them as the first students at Riverview Elementary School.

The principal’s idea: A time capsule that would tell future students what it was like to be the first class at the school, and allow students today to return when they grew up for a little deja vu.

Each class, kindergarten through fifth, created posters on matters important to them, and put them in a time capsule, to be opened in the year 2058. Also included were a yearbook for 2008, photographs, programs and CDs from the spring and winter concerts and a letter written by Principal Greenburg. Other items include a book from the library about the dust bowl era in the 1930s called “Out of the Dust,” which Greenburg thought appropriate given the school’s constant battle with dust working in a new building almost completely devoid of landscaping.

The posters ranged from a kindergarten class that included hand tracings the students colored and wrote their names on, to a fifth-grade class writing essays on issues like global warming and other social issues.

One first-grade class had a photo taken of all the students and put names in hand tracings. Another made a bubble map indicating the students’ favorite activities during the year.

Second-graders did a two-sided poster on the importance of being friends and getting along. Third-graders did a poster on a party when they made gingerbread houses.

A fourth-grade class wrote essays on what they thought they would be doing in the year 2058. Several thought they would live on the moon, or on Mars, including one boy who thought he would be the first drag racer on Mars.

One girl said she would eat potatoes and live on the moon, and make her living selling space rocks. Another would be a space doctor and live in a space mansion, eating space tacos with space noodles.

Another fourth-grade class offered a poster with letters indicating what they did during the year, good or bad, including working on an ant farm, getting high grades on tests and not having much money for a field trip.

Fifth-graders wrote essays also, on who the president might be at that time, and what might happen with climate change.

Amber Siefert wrote about life in 2008.

“We wrote about what the prices are today, including the gas prices we printed off the Internet,” she said.

Marco Saylor got into school spirit in the poster he worked on, which included a photo of a hawk, the school mascot, in green gray and gold, and asked the students to join him in the school chant.

The entire student body gathered recently in the school’s multipurpose room to show off their creations and put them in the time capsule, a mid-sized trunk that Greenburg said would be secreted somewhere inside the building.

A plaque about the time capsule will be posted in the office, and a map leading to the capsule’s location will be behind it, not to be opened for 50 years, he said.

Greenburg said the lesson was valuable to the students.

“Especially the older kids; the students had a chance to write, think about current events and thing about their futures,” he said.