In 2009, Shelly Schultz, 6th grade Language Arts teacher at the Independence Middle School came up with the idea to develop a Time Capsule for 6th graders to fill with items and thoughts from the school year to be opened up on the last days of their Senior year in high school. "It happened when my student teacher, Kay Hamlin, had to put together a project and she thought of doing a Time Capsule. We had the parents come and help the students seal the packages," said Schultz. 

Every year since, the 6th grade class has put together a Time Capsule for themselves and this is the second year graduate Senior students have opened their time capsules since the program began. This year, Schultz invited several Senior graduates, Taylor Clark, Zeb Campbell and Seth Stroble, to come to her 6th grade class and show them what they rediscovered in their Time Capsules. As they pulled each item out of their box, they described the thoughts of each item and how things have changed in the past six years since they sealed up their Time Capsule.  

On this day, Schultz gathered together all of this year's 6th grade students to visit with several graduating Seniors and listen to the stories and see some of the items they placed in their Time Capsule in 2010 when they were 6th graders. "This has been a really fun process and having them make fun of themselves as they share some of the silly things they were doing when they were 6th graders. It also inspired this year's 6th graders to think about things they would like to put in their Time Capsules," said Schultz. 

Some of the items Schultz encourages the students to put into their capsules include letters from parents and friends. "It is very special to watch the Senior students open their Time Capsules upon their graduation. There are many emotions, some joy, laughter and sadness," she said. "We talk about the joys and the tears as the Seniors read letters from loved one's that have passed. Its very emotional but once you get past the sadness there's such joy at the memories the students reflect on when they were 6th graders at Independence Middle School," she stated. "Most responses from the students, as they look back at what they were like in the 6th grade. is they thought they were so cool then and now they think they were real dorks." 

Schultz is quick to remind current 6th graders as they compile the items for their Time Capsules is their list of friends, goals and dreams may change after the next six years of school. 

Four 6th graders volunteered to share some of the items they placed in their Time Capsule to be opened in 2023. Emily DeGraw shared, "I put in some Minnie ears from Disney World, a lot of pictures and letters from my friends and parents." 

Taylie McKlintic was the next in line and said, "I have a bracelet one of my best friends gave me, a baseball when the KC Royals won the World Series but my favorite thing is a bear that my Great Grandpa gave me before he passed away."

Makenzee Monroy was eager to share, "I have grade reports and colored papers, several pictures with dates on the back, letters from friends and parents, and I have a miniature baseball, basketball, and soccer ball for my favorite sports." 

Up stepped MaNiya McPherson,  "I put my classmate compliments in my Time Capsule, my favorite Michael Jordan basketball card, my basketball trophy, my favorite book, and some of the letters from my friends with pictures of my art." 

The Independence Middle School 6th grade students will now place their Time Capsules in a, hopefully, safe place for the next six years to be opened at their baccalaureate ceremony in May 2023.