Javeon Durante, 9, his mother, and his baby brother were killed earlier this month when the car they were riding in was involved in a crash in Lawrence Township, NJ.
Javeon's step father and sister, Mellady, who is also a Buchanan student, attended the balloon release Wednesday morning.
Buchanan Principal Dr. Patricia Williams addressed the crowd before the release. She said it was important to take time to reflect on the life of Javeon and the lessons he had to offer.
"Javeon loved to draw,” Williams said. “His illustrations were incredibly detailed and creative.”
She reminded students that they could celebrate Javeon by finding something they were good at.
"You are all good at something," she said. "Practice it. Get better at it. That is how we can honor Javeon."
Following the address, students released balloon with messages to Javeon tied to the strings into the misty morning rain as "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was played on the loudspeaker.