A planned aerial art installation took on new, and deeper meaning, on Tuesday morning after a Napa elementary school dedicated the project to a student who died suddenly just days before.
Students at Browns Valley Elementary School gathered to remember their classmate, Addie Dominici, who was in a combination first-second grade at the school.
Addie, age 6, died on Saturday from injuries from an accident in Napa.
The project, called Art For the Sky, featured a temporary image outdoors created by students wearing matching T-shirts and hundreds of pairs of donated jeans.
From above, the image is then photographed and recorded on video. The final image shows a bear, the school mascot, hugging the earth.
Browns Valley school Principal Frank Silva said the event was already set up before they got the news that Addie had died.
The Dominici’s friends and family organized a gathering on Sunday night, during which hundreds gathered at the school’s playground, said Silva.
Instead of cancelling Tuesday’s art event, the school changed the emphasis of the program to remember Addie. “We want to acknowledge Addie as a wonderful person and memorialize her in our hearts,” Silva said.
Her name was spelled out at the bottom of the image. Her favorite songs and a photo of Addie will be featured in the video about the artwork.
A portion of the funds from the school’s jogathon, which is this Friday, are to be donated to students in other countries who need school uniforms and supplies. That donation will now be given in Addie’s name, said Silva.
After hearing about Addie’s death, the Napa Valley Unified School District implemented a “multi-tiered system of support” to help students, staff and the Browns Valley Elementary school community, Silva said. That included counselors on site, therapy dogs and community circles.
Silva said that Addie’s mom, Megan Dominici, has a saying: “We’re better together.” That’s what Browns Valley school is practicing now, he said.
According to an obituary in the Napa Valley Register, Adeline Mae Dominici was born on Nov. 14, 2012 in Napa.
She is the daughter of Jason and Megan Dominici and little sister of Nick and Sophia.
“Addie touched our lives and the lives of so many; our beloved shining, spirited girl,” said the notice. “A light in our lives and a star in all our hearts. Our memories of her leave us smiling through our tears.”
Aunt Coleen Giovannoni said Addie had many relatives and was the youngest of all the cousins, but could hold her own within the large family.
“In such a short time she just connected with everybody she met,” said Giovannoni. “She was literately the coolest kid you could meet. She was just so cool.”
Addie’s message to us “is to live each day to its fullest and always with kindness in our hearts,” said the obituary.
Addie was “an avid BMX rider, fierce soccer and basketball player, quite the Fortnite dancer, as well as an artist, and a cook. There was nothing she couldn’t do.”
“Addie loved her family, her classmates, her teammates, and so many others. She had a special ability to connect with everyone she met. Addie knew what she wanted and had a strong desire to be both a police officer and a You-tuber someday!”
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 5:30 p.m. at St. Apollinaris Church, 3700 Lassen St., Napa.