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4/22/2012 6:00:00 AM
Kingman students find creative way to honor classmate
La Senita students dedicate their book to Kaylab Hicks, who died after a trip to the hospital
AHRON SHERMAN/MinerThe dedication page of “The Amazing Gift of Imagination.”

The dedication page of “The Amazing Gift of Imagination.”
AHRON SHERMAN/MinerDylan Thomason, who shared a classroom and a Cub Scouts pack with Kaylab Hicks, enjoying his cupcake and juice box.

Dylan Thomason, who shared a classroom and a Cub Scouts pack with Kaylab Hicks, enjoying his cupcake and juice box.
Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Margie Hicks, the great grandmother of Kaylab Hicks, treated students in Debbie Dimattia's 2nd-grade class at La Senita Elementary to cupcakes and juice boxes Friday.

Kaylab died in January about three hours after returning from a trip to the hospital. The boy had his tonsils removed two days prior to the visit. He was having trouble eating and drinking, so his father took him to hospital to be treated for dehydration.

Kaylab was a student in Dimattia's class.

Throughout the school, teachers recently used their students' work and a company known as Student Treasures to publish hardcover books. Dimattia's class created "The Amazing Gift of Imagination," a compilation of 19 student-written stories with art that start with, "It would be amazing if ..."

The students went through the writing process, which consisted of creating numerous rough drafts of both the stories and the artwork, so that they could get it just right, Dimattia said. The kids think it's amazing, she said. It's one thing to tell them they are authors, but it's another to allow them to be authors, Dimattia added. Their eyes lit up when they saw the book in its completed form.

"It's hard work," Dimattia said. "But the end is spectacular."

Once the book was completed, students voted on whom they wanted to dedicate it to. When Dimattia suggested dedicating it to Kaylab, the children in the classroom raised their hands. The decision was made.

"Everybody in the class knew him," Dimattia said. "He was a very good boy."

Sean Hernadez's story was about how amazing it would be to have a pet wolf. Hernandez wrote that he would name the wolf Sam. They would eat ice cream together, he wrote.

Margie wanted to give the kids cupcakes to say thank you for dedicating the book to Kaylab. She showed a slide show of Kaylab, which was accompanied by music, to the class. Students ate their cupcakes and watched the video while Margie and Dimattia struggled to fight off tears.

Some students spoke of their memories of Kaylab.

Alexis Lewis, 8, talked about the time she saw Kaylab at the park on a Saturday. They played together and had a lot of fun.

Dylan Thomason, 8, is a member of the same Cub Scouts pack that Kaylab belonged to. He remembered the time they built a miniature wooden car together and raced it against other Cub Scouts. He and Kaylab also folded the school's old American flag when the school put it to rest the proper way on Veteran's Day.

Other students talked about what it meant to dedicate the book to him.

Eight-year-old Brandon Villacorta said he thought it was a great thing to do because of "friendship, our class and Kaylab."

Hernandez said it makes him happy to see Kaylab's picture every time he opens the book.

As Margie walked into the classroom, more than one student told her, "I miss Kaylab."

The boy is gone, but for these students his memory lives on in a book about the power of imagination.

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Related Stories:
• Kingman Letters: Thank you to those who honored life of Kaylab Hicks
• Kingman family thanks locals for support after son's death
• Obituary: Kaylab James Hicks

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2012
Article comment by: no name provided

How touching. I hope it brings both his family and classmates some peace.

Have the results come in stating the cause of his death yet? I'd thought they were due to be in last month.

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Article comment by: Grandma Christmas

Kaylab called us Grandma and Grandpa Christmas, I will never recover from losing my baby. For anyone who is can order a copy online at pin number is 1339979 and the teacher is Dimattia's...the book is called "The Amazing Gift of Imagination" and costs $19.95.

Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2012
Article comment by: Hannah Jones

This is exactly the reason why I would go to Vegas or Phoenix for any kind of medical proceedures other than routine well care.

Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2012
Article comment by: NORTHERN STAR

What a wonderful idea!! Does anyone know how and where the book may be purchased?

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