In the late 1970s-80s, teacher Hugh Brittain in New Brunswick, Canada assigned his Grade 6 students to keep a diary for a week as a creative writing exercise. "They would seal them up and I gave them free rein to write whatever they wanted to -- what was bothering them, or what was important in their lives at that time," Brittain told CNN. He never read the diaries, but held on to them to return them when they graduated high school. When he retired in 1995, after a 34-year teaching career, he packed up his things, including dozens of sealed diaries that he wasn't able to deliver. After a school reunion, he was able to return some of the diaries, but had 26 left. After 43 years, "I figured it was time to be sure they got delivered." In a last attempt, he posted about the diaries on social media, and managed to reconnect with former students and deliver their childhood journals. "For somebody to have had the kindness, or the heart, to want to hold on to that to eventually share it, or find a way to share it no matter what, that just speaks volumes," said Austin Hutton, who was Brittain's student in 1988.