Created: 12/20/2013 12:00 PM WHEC.com
A crisis team is on hand at Craig Hill Elementary School to help students copy with the death of their fellow classmate.
Ten-year-old Cory Denoncourt died Thursday at Strong Hospital. He was pulled from a snowbank Wednesday night. It had collapsed on him while he was playing with friends outside an apartment complex on White Swan Drive.
The Greece Central School District released a letter regarding Cory and how his classmates are remembering him.
Letter from Greece Schools:
Cory Denoncourt was someone who embraced life and made you laugh. That’s how classmates are remembering their friend today at Craig Hill Elementary School. Cory died yesterday following a tragic accident. Rather than focus on sadness, staff and students are remembering the fifth-grader for the happy kid he was and will continue to be in their hearts.
Cory’s classroom was a flurry of activity today as students prepared for a quiz and the upcoming winter recess. In the center of the room stands an artificial tree, donated by Cory. His friends said you could sum Cory up in one word – funny. He brought a smile to their faces and made the school day fun.
One of Cory’s classmates recalled how they loved to sing a song from the musical “Hairspray”. As he spoke, the entire class spontaneously sang it together in honor of Cory. Others talked about funny words Cory made up like “A-tink- a-you” which meant thank you. They remembered how he was always part of the classroom conversation. Even when he was using the adjoining bathroom, Cory would still manage to call out an audible comment.
There were tears of course for a friend lost so young, but there were as many smiles. His teacher, Catherine Howe, visited Cory and his family in the hospital yesterday and was able to read him the cards written by his classmates. Today she told the class that it’s ok to be sad but it’s also OK to be happy.
“He’s still making us laugh,” she said. “We got to hang out with Cory for a while and that’s what is important.”
Counselors were on hand today for anyone in need. Teachers also met before school and greeted students as they entered the building. Each teacher talked to their individual students today about Cory’s death and the profound impact of his life. School staff remembered Cory as a generous, respectful and hardworking boy who was also outgoing and whistled everywhere he went.
Craig Hill will keep Cory’s memory alive. His classmates were talking about perhaps keeping that tree in their room all year and decorating it for the seasons. They also talked about collaborating on a yarn doll made in Cory’s likeness to keep in the room. Ms. Howe’s students had recently made similar dolls for a class project and Cory was very proud of his. Staff have also started a collection for Cory’s family. Those wishing to donate should contact Craig Hill at 966-4500. Letters will be sent to Craig Hill families today informing them of Cory’s passing and making them aware of resources available for children who are grieving.