Jul 26, 2014
Partly Cloudy

Photos: Rio Seco Memorial Reading Garden Dedication and Opening

A new memorial honors local teachers Christine Bailey, Kathy Davis and John Gathercole and gives students a beautiful place to read.

Read more about the origins of the 

A crowd of people joined together Friday morning to show their love for and to honor a few special teachers with the dedication of a on campus.

Many tears were shed while dwelling on the love of teaching and reading that Santee School District teachers Christine Bailey, Kathy Davis and John Gathercole all embraced. Their families were present during the dedication, and even helped cut the ribbon.

"One of the greatest gifts a student can earn is the ability to read," said . "Some of the most important people in our lives are those teachers who help us make connections in life through reading."

Rio Seco teachers created and read an adaptation of "The Important Book" by Margaret Wise in remembrance of the teachers honored in the garden (see attached video).

The memorial was thought up and brought to reality in about a year, with help from nearly every corner of Santee, from to the , . Over $25,000 in materials and financial support was given, including some funds from the broken piggy banks of local students.

Chris Erwin, a one-time Rio Seco student, now with the district Maintenance Department, was the project leader. Not only did he help design and build the garden, but as a fourth grader he helped plant many of the trees that he now cares for. 

The campus now has a new jewel- a beautiful spot that will be an oasis of reading, beckoning students to "smell the roses" and crack a book.

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