Barnwell Primary School student remembered
Barnwell Primary School is missing a piece of its puzzle after the death of Javian Hayward.
The 8-year-old died on Nov. 13 from injuries he sustained two days earlier from a wreck that occurred in Aiken County. His mother and older brother were also injured in the wreck.
“Our hearts go out to Javian’s family at this very difficult time. He will be dearly missed,” according to a statement on Barnwell District 45’s website.
Javian, who had autism and could not talk, was in Kelley Carroll’s self-contained class. His classmates made pins out of puzzle pieces that were painted white and had a red heart with the letter “J” inside. Puzzle pieces are a symbol of autism awareness.
“Javian, with all of his difficulties, was always happy and smiling,” said Carroll, who remembers Javian excitedly dancing along to exercise videos on the smartboard. She spoke to The People-Sentinel with permission from Javian’s mother, Coretta Green, who wants “the world to know about him.”
Joy Kinard, who taught Javian reading, also remembers the “sheer joy” that he always radiated when they read together. “His smile is what I’ll always remember about him,” she said. “He was a real blessing.”
Though he couldn’t talk, his teachers said Javian understood what was said to him, particularly through the use of visual prompts. He was constantly learning and progressing in all areas they worked with him, said Carroll.
“He wanted to learn. It was uplifting to see that,” said Carroll.
Besides his eagerness to learn, Javian also had a supportive mother who was involved and stayed in touch with his teachers, including on how to improve his education.
“She is a great mom and really watched out for her boys,” said BPS Principal Donna Selvey of Javian’s mother, Coretta Green.
Green and Javian’s brother, who is in the fourth grade at Barnwell Elementary, were also injured in the wreck. “They were very close,” said Carroll of the two brothers.
Employees from the schools took food to the family all last week.
While Javian’s family is grieving, his death has also been difficult for his school family. Carroll said Javian’s classmates have reacted differently, but they’ve made counselors available. She has also tried to explain that he is now in a place where he is talking and singing, something Carroll said Javian’s mother also has talked about.
Carroll and Kinard said Javian had friends and socialized, but just not in the conventional way.
“They all wanted to be his friend,” said Carroll of how Javian’s personality made it easy for other children to get along with him.
Javian’s funeral was held on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Guinyard-Butler Middle School.
The school collected a love offering for his family last week. However, Selvey said anyone who wants to make a donation can stop by the school and they will make sure it gets to Javian’s family.