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Third-graders build terrariums for moms (w/video)

By Carolina Astrain
May 9, 2014 at 12:09 a.m.

Nazareth Academy third-grade students Gracie Naquin, 8, left, Alyssa Garcia, 8, and Joliett Hanes, 9, wait for help tying ribbons around the Mother's Day terrariums they made in class. The students also wrote letters to their mothers telling them why they love them.


Here are some area specials on Mother's Day in the Crossroads:

• The Sendera: Mother's Day Brunch Buffet comes with a full selection of delicious entrees, sides and desserts Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; meals are $35 per person with special pricing for children. Reservations are recommended but not required.

• The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar: A special brunch menu will be available Sunday.

• The Club at Colony Creek: A Mother's Day lunch planned for Sunday and is reservations-only. Call 361-576-0018 to reserve your spot.

• Hilton Garden Inn Victoria: Breakfast Sunday will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.; no reservations are needed.


We asked these kids what they think makes their mother special. Here are their answers:

"She always cooks for me and cares for me and always tries to listen to what I have to say and doesn't ignore me." - Avery Reyes, 8

"She's very nice and will always do what I need her to do for me." - Lisa Du, 9

"My mom is special to me because she does good things for me, and she takes me to get ice cream sometimes, and she's willing to send me to a wonderful school." - William Derek Hopkins Jr., 9

"She's always there for me, and she's really nice." - Xavier Richmond, 9

"She's always kind and nice and easy to talk to." - MaKayla Schimek, 9

"My mom is special because she is my mom, and she takes me everywhere that I want to go, and if we don't, we go the next day, so that's why she's my favorite mom." - Conner Shaver, 9

"She's special to me because she cares for me, she buys me clothes, and she cooks for me." - Galilea Barragan, 9

"She loves me." - T.J. Vargas, 9

Nazareth Academy third-grade teacher Yolanda Hernandez knows the importance of showing your mother you care.

"Mother's Day is important because you really get to fully show your mother how much she means to you," said Hernandez, a mother of three.

Hernandez, who started teaching 29 years ago, said she decided to infuse her biology lesson with a special treat for her students' mothers.

Mother's Day is Sunday.

This past week, members of her class has been working hard to create terrariums with soil they collected on a recent trip to the Invista wetlands.

"We've been studying ecosystems," said Hernandez, who teaches all subjects. "I put my best effort to be as creative as I can be with my lesson planning."

MaKayla Schimek, 9, silently filled in flower petals she had drawn on a note made for her mother with a deep purple marker.

"Now, take your letter and fold it into thirds," Hernandez instructed. "Make sure it says, 'Mom' when you open it."

William Derek Hopkins Jr., 9, pressed down firmly on his card to his mother.

T.J. Vargas' card for his mother had, "Mom" written in big, red letters bordered by pine trees on the side.

As some students completed their letters to their mothers, Hernandez showed other students how to wrap a ribbon around their terrariums.

Lisa Du, 9, wrapped a sheer ribbon around the mason jar containing the little bit of earth she had gathered.

"This project is one that will set a good foundation for them," Hernandez said.



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