Students learn important life lesson on last day at Houghton Ele - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Students learn important life lesson on last day at Houghton Elementary

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SAGINAW (WJRT) - (06/10/14) - It was an emotional day at a Saginaw school for more than one reason.

Houghton Elementary is one of three schools in the district closing this year.

Before students said goodbye - they learned an important life lesson.

Eight-year-old Cha'Kur Tolbert died nearly two years ago in a house fire. If he were alive today, he would have been at Houghton.

Chauntel Dra-Tolbert has made it her mission to save other families from the pain she feels. Her son, Cha'Kur, an honor student at Houghton, died in a fire in July 2012.

"He just panicked, he ran and hid," Chauntel said.

Cha'Kur's first grade teacher says this is a lesson worth repeating.

"If his tragedy saves one life, then they've done their job. We've done our job," said teacher Regina Wilson.

Once the fire marshal sent them off with the final lesson of the year, Chauntel personally handed out dozen of balloons for the last time at Houghton.

This school, along with Heavenrich and Ruben Daniels, is closing this year due to budget cuts.

"It's bittersweet," said Sherry Kouture, principal.

"They're thinking about the vacation of the summer, but they really don't know they ain't coming back. It really ain't hit them yet," said parent Charles Moxley.

Houghton's parent group couldn't end the year without a picnic.

"It's a wonderful community, a wonderful group of parents, students and the teachers," Kouture said.

As these kids are well aware, there was one student missing.

"He has left a legacy. He was only 8 years old. He has touched so many lives. So many lives," Chauntel said.

Many of the Houghton kids will go to Arthur Eddy next year.

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