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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Preschoolers remember Levi through tree planting and balloon release

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

(Photo)
Preschoolers at Southeast Missouri State University's Child Development Center in Sikeston on Tuesday shovel dirt in the hole of the newly planted Yoshino cherry tree in memory of their 3-year-old Benton classmate, Levi Stephen Collom, who died of natural causes March 18. Levi's favorite color was orange, and this tree will feature orange foliage in the fall, said his teacher, Shelly Williams. Leonna Heuring, Staff
SIKESTON -- As Shelly Williams and her preschool class gathered on the lawn on the north side of Southeast Missouri State University's Child Development Center Tuesday morning, the teacher asked the group of 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds why they were there.

"For Levi!" the children shouted, referring to their classmate, Levi Stephen Collom, who died of natural causes March 18 at the age of 3.

"And what was Levi's favorite color?" Williams asked the children.

"Orange!" they replied.

Then students took turns shoveling dirt to fill the hole where they had just planted a Yoshino cherry tree in memory of their buddy, Levi. Williams noted the tree will bloom white flowers in the spring and orange foliage in the fall.

The children also released balloons with Spiderman featured on them as Levi loved superheroes, especially Batman and Spiderman.

"It was really hard trying to explain to little ones why Levi wasn't with us anymore," Williams said. "They were thinking he's going to get super powers and come back."

Williams said she and Center staff, including her assistant teacher, Kelsie Martin, wanted to do something to remember Levi.

"We wanted a place where we could go to remember all the good things about Levi and to show how much we miss him," Williams said.

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