Madison Dowdy reads Brie The Superhero aloud at the Sundance Garden reveal. The book was thought up and created by Randall students, in honor of both Sundance and Brie.

At the end of April, several Randall Middle School students, faculty, staff, parents and even a dog gathered around to take part in the official reveal of Sundance Garden-a project that was months in the making.

Sundance Garden is not only a place for student’s to enjoy a book or smell the different flowers, but it is also a memorial for Sundance, a beloved literacy dog and friend to students at Randall who passed away last year.

“At the beginning of the year I found out about Sundance and of course I was heartbroken. I started rounding up people who might be interested in taking part in this project,” said Kristy Verdi, R.A.Y.S. Council sponsor and teacher. “We got the agriculture kids involved, the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) kids, the Randall Area Youth Service (R.A.Y.S.) Council, Ms. Max for her artistic ability and put together a brainstorm. We decided we wanted to do something special with the garden. The whole thing has been a huge effort.”

Not only did the groups work hard to create a beautiful garden, several students put together a book, titled Brie The Superhero, in honor for Sundance and their new literacy dog, Brie. A total of 13 students participated in the books creation, from writing and editing to the illustrations. Several copies of the book were given out to students and faculty who played a part in putting the garden and book together and copies are also now available in the Randall Media Center.

Valerie Richards, seventh grade councilor and literacy dog trainer, was truly touched by the hard work that went into the garden and the book.

“Sundance was amazing, as you know and coming out here is so wonderful. I’m looking forward to seeing people sit out on the benches and read, which is what Sundance was all about and what Brie is all about,” she said. “The book is amazing and I adore it. Thank you for all of your love and all that you put into this.”

Randall Middle School is located at 16510 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. For more information, call 740-3900 or visit

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