I was cleaning up debris in the lower portion of our yard. Under some wet leaves and mud, I found artwork of a young child, hand prints made into turkeys.

Being a parent, grandparent, and former teacher, I just could not place it with the other miscellaneous items picked up. So I put the special drawing in our garage while allowing it to dry out and giving me some time to think about what to do with it. Honestly, I almost threw it in the trash on several occasions but just could not thinking about how my mom would be very upset with me if making that decision. (My mom never throws anything away children give her, even adults.)

When showing the drawing to my daughter, a teacher now, I could tell by her facial expression that she understood my dilemma as she said, “Dad, it has even been laminated.”

Of course, the laminating process had mostly preserved the picture, a picture that reminded me of two shirts with the hand prints of my daughters when much younger. Even though I have parted with many T-shirts over the years, mostly related to sports, I just can't take these shirts off the hangers in my closet. In fact, I still proudly wear them even though they are showing some wear.

Fondly remembering Thanksgiving at Hope Elementary where at times we would celebrate in our homerooms while at other time in the gym where the entire school would gather, I suspect this drawing was a special placemat for a delicious meal prepared by the wonderful cooks.

When looking at it, I think about how my first art class was actually in college as well as my first music class and about how fortunate young students are to have art and music in school today. With my new career of taking care of our two young grandchildren, I have realized even more the importance of each subject area. Most of their toys have pictures and play some type of music. Toy companies have obviously done their research. And the minds of my two grandchildren will immediately focus on screens with great visuals and music whether it be on the television or iPad.

There has been much stress on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in education, but I would prefer to include the arts creating STEAM. I am not alone in my thoughts as expressed in a state education meeting that I attended several years ago. However, as stated in that meeting, there is more funding for STEM. It is my opinion that there could be several education acronyms, that we need to be very careful about focusing on any area too much considering all the possible learning pathways for students and how quickly the world is changing.

Back to the drawing, other writers have tried to find the owner of something of value by publishing an article in a newspaper. So if you have a son or grandson by the name of Braden who made this drawing and live close to the Hartsville Pike, 500 N, then please call me at 812-390-6550. If you read this article, then please share it on Facebook. I would love to reunite this special piece of artwork with the family of the young student who created it, a drawing that should be kept in a memory binder forever.