By Sheri Duff
Days before winter break an email arrived from a Connecticut Parent Teacher Student Association member with a request. The email said, “Please encourage students and families to create a winter wonderland for Sandy Hook students by participating in a project called ‘Snowflakes for Sandy Hook.’” The appeal continued, “We need snowflakes to decorate the new school the elementary students will attend for the remainder of the year. The snowflakes will hang on windows, bulletin boards, doors, walls, and anything else they can think of. Please make all of the snowflakes you can manage, there is no such thing as too many snowflakes.” Fortunately the request landed in the Shelburne Community School’s CY Connecting Youth Student Assistance Program Counselor Margo Austin’s inbox. “I put the request out to students and they jumped on it,” she said proudly. “Although there were only a few days in which to create snowflakes, students stayed in for recess and lunch because they wanted to do something positive in the wake of something so horrific.”
Most Shelburne Community School (SCS) students felt compelled to do something positive for the Sandy Hook Elementary School students in the days following the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. SCS students Kacey Gorton, Lila Ouellette, and Ambu Dulleba created a beautiful photo scrapbook and put a care package together with school supplies. When asked what motivated them to do this they said, “Our entire class was writing ‘Sandy Hook’ on our hands, but we wanted to take it a step further. So we put together a care package to show how we are supporting them.”
Past experience has taught Community School administrators and staff that their students would rise to the occasion and contribute in a meaningful way. And they did not disappoint. The SCS community hopes that their good wishes will offer comfort and healing to Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary as they move forward.