Waterloo school plants tree to honor student killed in fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo school plants tree to honor student killed in fire

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This week, students and staff at a Waterloo school came together to honor a boy who died earlier this year. 

Nine-year-old Jaykwon Sallis and his mother, 32-year-old Ashley Smith,  were killed when their home on Dawson Street caught fire. This happened on a Sunday morning in April. 

Jaykwon's family says the past month has been tough, but they are so grateful for what Lincoln Elementary did on Tuesday. 

About half the school came out for a tree-planting ceremony. Staff planted a small tree right outside the third grade windows. 

Jaykwon's third grade teacher, Amanda Wagenhofer, says her class wanted to do something for their friend before the school year came to an end. 

"The end of the year is filled with a lot of fun memorable things we really wanted Jaykwon to be a part of. It really broke our hearts that he wasn't going to be a part of that stuff, so we decided to honor him and keep his memory alive by planting a tree," Wagenhofer said. 

During the ceremony, students blew bubbles. A quote was also read that said, "Life is like a bubble. There is a thin line between everything you reflect out of your life, before you pop, leaving a reflection on others. Think of the reflection that Jaykwon has left behind."

The cause of the deadly fire that killed Jaykwon is still under investigation.  Firefighters believe an accelerant was used to start the fire. 

A Dupaco Credit Union account has been set up in Aubri's name. (Ashley's daughter) 

There is also a Veridian Credit Union account set up under Jaykwon's father's name, "Troy Sallis Benefit."

See also: A story about a letter Jaykwon wrote about bullying: http://www.kwwl.com/story/38383211/2018/06/08/following-his-death-in-fire-waterloo-family-shares-boys-letter-to-classmates-about-bullying

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