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Students contribute to book dedicated to fallen diplomat

Published: Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 7:26 a.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
Several elementary school students who contributed to the writing and illustration of a new childrens book pose with a photo of Anne Smedinghoff, A U.S. diplomat from River Forest killed by a bomb in Afghanistan in April. The book, "A Language of the Heart," was dedicated in Smedinghoff's memory.

LA GRANGE – A book created by children from local schools at The Well Spirituality Center was released Oct. 13 with a special dedication.

In April, the center hosted elementary students from St. John of the Cross in Western Springs and seven other schools for a leadership retreat designed to foster relationships across social, ethnic and economic boundaries.

One of the participating schools was St. Luke in River Forest, the former school of U.S. diplomat Anne Smedinghoff, 25, who earlier that month was killed when a bomb set off by the Taliban exploded as her group traveled to deliver textbooks for Afghani school children.

During the retreat, Smedinghoff’s parents talked to the students, whose experience of learning about their loss was reflected in the words and images they created in “A Language of the Heart,” based on an original composition by Kathy Sherman from the Congregation of St. Joseph.

The book, released Oct. 13 during a celebration at the center, was dedicated in Smedinghoff’s memory. It is available online at www.ministryofthearts.com, with proceeds used to distribute books in Afghanistan.

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