It was a project his mother, then the school's PTA president, had started.
But when an automobile accident took the life of her son Andrew Hawkinberry, Mrs. Hawkinberry's efforts to extend the school's front awning were put on hold.
North Harlem Elementary pupils Nicholas Hawkinberry (left) and Logan May unveil a plaque in memory of Andrew "Little Hawk" Hawkinberry, who died in an automobile accident in September 2002. The school dedicated its new awning to Andrews memory Friday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
At North Harlem Elementary School's Olympic Field Day opening ceremony Friday, the ribbon was cut on the new awning extension, and it was dedicated in Andrew's name.
Andrew, then a third-grader, was killed Sept. 13, 2002, in Warren County while traveling with his family to see his older brother Michael play footbal for the Harlem Bulldogs. He was 8.
Logan May, one of Andrew's best friends and classmates, read a poem he wrote titled Little Hawk, a reference to Andrew's nickname. The last two lines of his poem were put on the plaque in front of the school.
Andrew's parents, Raymond and Kelly Hawkinberry, and sons Michael, 19, and Nicholas, 11, were also present for the ceremony, along with school officials and family friends.
"I, of course, love it," Mr. Hawkinberry said. "This is what we do in Harlem. It's a wonderful place to live. When tragedy strikes, this is the only way to get through it. It helps us to know he is not forgotten."
Nicholas, a fifth-grader, helped to cut the ribbon and reveal the plaque, along with Logan and Harlem Mayor Scott Dean.
"I think Andrew would think it's very nice," Nicholas said.
This is the second permanent structure in Harlem dedicated to Andrew's memory. Field II at the Harlem Recreation Park was renamed Andrew Hawkinberry Field on May 30, 2003. Andrew was a second baseman for the Red Sox. The team still wears his number 7 on their caps.
Your life was cut short for reasons unknown.
For the time you were here you brought love and joy.
Little Hawk is what they called you for that is who you are.
Your smile could light up a room like nothing else could.
Second base will always be yours and yours alone.
For ballparks will never be the same
Without seeing you do your thing.
Recess was our time to rule the ground.
The monkey bars were our favorite on the playground.
We know you are watching us and always around
For your love and joy will always be felt.
Your friendship can never be duplicated.
The smile you had remains in our hearts.
We will push on because that's what you would want.
Andrew Little Hawk Hawkinberry, we will miss you.
Logan May, Sept. 14, 2002
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