I am a teacher at Barnard Elementary in Petworth. As many are aware, a 9-year old boy was killed in the fire last weekend, which the Mayor has referred for investigation. We found out last week that the child was a student at our school. Our hearts are broken, and we are working as a school community to celebrate his impact and honor his life, especially as students return today.
We are also working as a school community to offer support to his mother, who lost her only child and everything she owned. Immediate needs are financial, as she prepares to bury her son.”
The GoFundMe says:
“On Monday, the staff of Barnard Elementary School in Washington, D.C. began to eagerly set up classrooms for a new group of students. As we wrote each student’s name on their desk we thought about getting to know them, learning their dreams , and about the journey we would have this year. On Thursday we learned that one of those desks will be empty! A tragic fire claimed the life of one of our brightest stars, 9 year old Yafet. Six of his nine years were spent excitedly traversing the halls of Barnard. We met as a staff and shared our memories of Yafet.
· dreamed of being a lawyer
· a very bright student
· a kind and courteous boy
· a passion for reading that spread to everyone he met
· spent his recess time leading conflict resolution discussion with his peers
· extremely funny
· had a positive attitude that could light up a room.
One teacher’s recollection was him running up to her in the mall full of excitement to return to school on Monday, dragging his mom around to be sure he had all his supplies for school. Little did she know this would be her last hug, her final conversation and her last moments with Yafet.
Barnard Elementary is a community … we hold people tightly, as the sign outside reads “a school is a good as the community that keeps it.” The faculty, staff, and Barnard community is soliciting your support for his mother in her time of great need. Although we can never replace all that she has lost, we can ease the process of rebuilding her life after this devastating fire and covering the cost of final expenses.”
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