“This story isn’t intended to make people sad,” Mrs. Lewis said. “It’s about gun safety and asking the right questions.”
In 2008, Isaiah Lewis, a seven-year old about to begin
second grade at French Run Elementary School, was playing unsupervised with a
friend when they came across an unsecured gun. Curiosity got the best of them,
and Isaiah suffered a fatal gunshot wound. He died on his seventh birthday.
Isaiah would have graduated with the rest of his friends on
May 21, 2019 from Reynoldsburg High School.
“He was a bubbly, loving, fun, compassionate boy,” said his mother. “He had a heart of gold. He loved gymnastics and music, and I think he would have thrived in the Encore Academy setting.”
A chair will be reserved at the graduation ceremony with a cap and gown and an honorary diploma from Reynoldsburg High School’s Encore Academy, which will be presented to Mrs. Lewis by Isaiah’s first grade teacher, Mia Brower.
“Isaiah had a huge heart, he always strived to make others happy and he was incredibly intelligent,” said Mrs. Brower. “I was always impressed by the things he knew as a first grader. He also had the biggest smile when he was happy or excited. His whole face would light up; I can still picture it today.”
Mrs. Brower attended Isaiah’s funeral and has reconnected with Mrs. Lewis, and remembers that particular first grade class fondly. “The students had a close bond, almost like family,” she said. “They supported each other and cared about each other. They were amazing kids. They built friendships when they were six years old that have lasted all the way to high school graduation, which is incredible.”
After Isaiah passed away, the Parent Teacher Organization
at French Run Elementary School organized an annual scholarship in his memory.
It is available for any RHS senior that attended French Run Elementary, and if
applicable, the recipient receives $550 to help further their education.
“I would love to see the scholarship grow,” said Mrs. Lewis. “For the past couple of years, I worked with the Columbus Urban League and City Council to not only promote gun safety, but to make sure families were asking the right questions.”
“Curiosity will get the better of children. I learned, in the worst way possible, to ask if there are guns in the house and if they are locked securely. If not, my child doesn’t go over to play,” she said.
“It’s uncomfortable and awkward but you have to ask,” Mrs. Lewis concluded.
This year, on what would be Isaiah’s 18th birthday, the family will drive to Virginia Beach, Virginia and spread Isaiah’s ashes in the ocean.
“Life happens fast,” said Mrs. Lewis. “I would love to bring more awareness to elementary school-aged children and their families about gun safety.”
If you are interested in donating to the Isaiah Lewis
Memorial Scholarship, please email the French Run Elementary School at [email protected] and checks can
be made to the French Run PTO. Please note that the funds are for the Isaiah
Lewis Memorial Scholarship in the memo of the check.