Students in the Briarcliff Manor and Pleasantville schools took time last week to participate in a national initiative introduced by the PTA leaders of Newtown, CT, after the December 14 shooting.
With classes resuming in a new building for students and teachers from Sandy Hook, parent volunteers said they are working to ensure that the students are welcomed back by a "winter wonderland" with the entire school decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible, said Betsy Landers, national PTA president, and Jim Accomando, Connecticut PTSA President.
"We encourage senders to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike," they said in a release.
Julie Gallagher, a sixth grade science teacher at Briarcliff Middle School said the opportunity has also been a therapeutic one for her students.
"While we are sure they will have an abundant amount of snowflakes, the spirit of the project has really helped us," she said. "This Snowflake project has helped our students to talk about the events that happened and to express their own concerns and fears."
Students at Briarcliff MS helped create more than 300 unique snowflakes to send to Newtown.
Over at Pleasantville High School, Principal Dawn Bartz said the Stand for the Silent Club, headed by teachers Staci Tedrow and Allison Steinberg, created 30 snowflakes and 55 cards to send to Newtown.
The organizations will indefinitely accept donations to the Connecticut PTSA “Sandy Hook Fund” to provide ongoing support to the community. Checks can be mailed to the same address. For student-run coin drives, donations must be submitted by February 14.
Landers and Accomando offered their condolences to the families and communities affected by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and said "together, let us pray that they will receive the comfort they so desperately need."
They also offered resources on how to approach the subject of school violence with children on their website: PTA.org/schoolviolence.
The national PTA, which has 5 million members, also plans to share position statements and resolutions related to school violence and child safety, the release stated.