Aug. 30, 2008 -- It began as a third-grade art project at a New Orleans elementary school.
The children were told to create two boxes: one of them filled with memories from the storm that changed their lives and the other filled with their hopes and wishes for the future.
The results, now on display at the Louisiana Children's Museum, are heartbreaking.
"I put pictures of things that I lost in the hurricane and I put writings of things that I lost in the hurricane," one boy said.
Some notes were written on paper plates, some on simple notebook paper.
"I lost my home and family," said one.
"I wish New Orleans was blessed by angels," said another.
And for the children, the memories and effects of Katrina are as fresh in their minds as they are tangible in the boxes.
"People are still suffering from the storm," 9-year-old Rodney Green said. "People still don't have houses and food and water. And people don't have enough money to afford it because of the storm. People are still struggling."
"Katrina never left," he said. "The water may have gone but she never left."
Gaynail Mitchell, mother of one of the children involved in the project, says that the memory boxes have clearly helped her son recover.
"He was talking about that box after we left the Children's Museum today. He told me it's going to be better," she said. "I love that box. I wish I could take it home and show it to people because it's his feelings and it's really coming out."