Dublin students' pandemic stories included in arts council's time-capsule project

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group
These are two of the time capsules that were buried for a Dublin Arts Council project May 7.  The time capsules will be opened in 2033 as part of the council's 50th anniversary.

The generation of children whose lives were upended by the COVID-19 coronavirus won’t soon forget it.

But 12 years from now, as many will be graduating from a college or university, students from five Dublin elementary schools will have the opportunity to revisit their own words and pictures describing that moment in time because of a time-capsule project with the Dublin Arts Council.

“I might go back so my family can see what I wrote when I was in the fourth grade,” said Kaiden Marsh, 10, a student at Indian Run Elementary School.

This is one of many drawings that students from Indian Run Elementary School placed in a time capsule for a Dublin Arts Council project.

Eight chrome-plated time capsules, containing Polaroid pictures of classrooms with partitioned desks and social-distancing signs, masks and personal accounts of living during a pandemic were buried May 7 in a garden at the offices and art gallery of the Dublin Arts Council, 7125 Riverside Drive.

Because of the continuing pandemic, Kaiden's fourth-grade classmates and students at Mary Emma Bailey, Glacier Ridge, Eli Pinney and Scottish Corners elementary schools had to watch the 30-minute ceremony to bury the capsules via a livestream.

The capsules will be unearthed in 2033 as part of the ceremonies for the 50th anniversary of the arts council.

The idea for the time capsules came from the pandemic itself, said Ava Morgan, public-art manager for the arts council.

“We were looking for ways to keep the kids in Dublin (City Schools) engaged because we couldn’t bring them to the gallery anymore,” Morgan said.

So the arts council sent invitations to teachers in the district inviting students to write about living during the pandemic, she  said.

“The arts council provided Polaroid cameras, and the students took a variety of pictures, including the hallways and classrooms of their school buildings, illustrating how they had transformed during the pandemic, said Katie Mathews, a fourth-grade teacher at Indian Run.

“My students normally visit (the arts council),” but not this year, Mathews said.

Instead, Mathews said, she received the email inviting students to participate in the time-capsule project.

“The kids were excited to do it and see (the capsules) buried,” Mathews said.

Stella Luken, 10, a fourth-grader at Indian Run, said she wrote about the two foster puppies her family kept during the pandemic.

Since her family was home from work and school, they accepted the short-term foster puppies before another family permanently adopted them.

Kaiden, whose family welcomed a new puppy on a permanent basis during the pandemic, wrote about it and the experience of suddenly learning from home when all public schools in Ohio closed for the remainder of the school year in March 2020.

Kaiden said he also wrote about the loss of his basketball season and playing tennis.

Fifth-graders at Glacier Ridge used Crayola crayons and Sharpies to draw on a 25-foot section of paper that was rolled onto a scroll and placed in one of the capsules.

Sydney Tsai and Laura Wolfinger, both 10, said they drew images of each of them in front of a computer engaging in a Zoom videoconference while one of the girls is crocheting.

“I thought it was important to reflect on some of the positive things that came about during the pandemic because so much of what we will look back on will be negative,” said Kim Cover, an art educator at Glacier Ridge.

The ability to spend more time with family or explore a new hobby were among the positive things that Cover suggested her students illustrate.

Doug Baker, a spokesman for Dublin City Schools, helps bury time capsules during a Dublin Arts Council ceremony May 7.  The time capsules will be opened in 2033 as part of the council's 50th anniversary.

Five of the eight buried time capsules contain drawings, photographs and artifacts from the five elementary schools, and another contains work from students in the district’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Two other time capsules were filled with items from city of Dublin employees and the staff of the Dublin Arts Council, said Janet Cooper, director of engagement for the arts council.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

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