Riverside Elementary remembers first-grader Zariah Scott, who died Nov. 20 following a vehicle collision

Grief counselors spoke with first-graders about the loss of their friend, and the Jackson County Central school had a balloon release in Zariah's memory this week.

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Riverside Elementary students release pink and purple balloons in memory of Zariah Scott, 6, who died recently following a Nov. 13 vehicle crash that also claimed the lives of her mother and 1-year-old brother. Dan Condon / The Jackson County Pilot

JACKSON — Grief counselors visited the first-grade classrooms at Riverside Elementary the Monday after Zariah Chanel Scott, 6, died of injuries sustained in a fatal collision that had already claimed the lives of her mother, Mariah Nelson, and her 1-year-old brother, Symere.

Zariah loved singing, dancing and painting, according to her obituary, and her favorite color was purple.

She always looked out for her brother and her sisters, Serenidee Schoenecker and Armani Scott, who was also injured in the Nov. 13 collision.

“We just want to make sure the family knows we support them in every way that we can,” said Dr. Kimberly Meyer, Riverside’s principal.


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Students at Riverside Elementary watch the skies following the balloon release honoring Zariah Scott, 6. Dan Condon / The Jackson County Pilot

Grief counselors were also available to talk with the students individually during the day, keeping things age-appropriate for the young people, and the school sent a letter to parents of first-graders so they knew what was going on, Meyer said. A school counselor and school psychologist are available at Riverside as well.

Many students made cards for Zariah’s family.

“With this age group of students, it’s really hard to know how they process things,” Meyer said. “It’s been a hard hit on the whole community, and Riverside — and the students and teachers, and everyone.”

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The skies over Jackson fill with colorful balloons released in memory of Zariah Scott, who attended first grade at Riverside Elementary. Dan Condon / The Jackson County Pilot

Riverside students gathered outside Tuesday to remember their classmate with a balloon release, and Zariah’s funeral was on Wednesday.

“Zariah will always be remembered for her love of life, laugh, and her beautiful smile that would light up any room she walked in,” her obituary states.


Related Topics: EDUCATION
A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

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