On the morning of October 3, 2022, a white-painted steel beam sat near the construction on the Little Raven Elementary (formerly Ralph Moody) campus awaiting signatures. Students arrived in shifts by bus from East Elementary School and Ralph Moody Elementary School (currently “studying abroad” at the building that used to house Twain Elementary). Students and staff took turns signing the beam. The students of East and Moody will be combining and attending Little Raven Elementary School in the fall of 2023.
Later in the day, district staff and construction stakeholders gathered to see the progress on the construction of the new school and to sign the beam. Special guests from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes were able to come to the event as well, traveling from Oklahoma. Fred Mosqueda said, “To have a name of a school from such a strong individual just means so much to the Arapaho and Cheyenne people down there in Oklahoma, and the ones that are living here that will recognize the fact that that name–Little Raven, Hóuusóó, Hosa, Little Raven–that’s who this school is named for. When we see that name, we’re going to look at it with pride. We’re going to know that it comes from somebody so strong in our people.”
To complete the Topping Out ceremony, a pine tree was mounted to one side of the beam, symbolizing a new beginning, and an American flag was mounted to the other side. The beam was hoisted by crane and fitted in its final position as part of the building’s structure. Those who signed it will have their names in the school forever.
Check out the video slideshow of the whole event featuring an oral history by Fred Mosqueda!