A Newtown, Connecticut teacher with ties to our area is doing her part to bring some sense of normalcy to students of Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Berks County native reached out to her friends in Allentown, and what happened next is inspiring.
It's an easy holiday art project.
"First we take a paper, and then we fold it a couple of times," explained eighth grader Aca Rodgers. "Fold it again and just cut out little parts."
A class of 15 eight graders at Raub Middle School in Allentown are seeing their first snow of the season, creating paper snowflakes.
"I made three," smiled Frederick Marks. "This is my fourth one."
But this snow storm isn't staying in the Lehigh Valley.
"We're making snowflakes for the kids in Connecticut," shared Rodgers.
After all the folding, cutting and decorating is done, the entire middle school hopes to mail close to 1,000 snowflakes to Sandy Hook.
"These snowflakes are going to decorate the new building that the children will go to," added Marks.
After the holidays, the Sandy Hook Elementary students will go back to class, but they'll be in a new school in a neighboring town.
"We just wanted to create this warm, inviting, cheerful entrance when these students who have been traumatized come back into the building," explained Bonny Marsicano with Snowflakes for Sandy Hook. "And to have this beautiful, warm place of love."
Before coming to work at the Newtown Public School District in Connecticut, Marsicano was a teacher for 10 years at Raub Middle School in Allentown. So she reached out to her friends in Allentown to help.
"I could not believe how, within hours, news of this spread and I was getting contacted by teachers from all over."
Now a snow storm is coming to Connecticut, transforming the bare facility into a winter wonderland. Friends of the former Berks County native didn't hesitate to help the effort and spread the word on social media sites.
"I hope the kids here understand that just a little bit of love goes a long way," said Raub Middle School teacher Vickie Bartkus. "And I hope that the kids in Connecticut understand that kids all over the world love them."
It's a small gesture, but the impact the snowflakes will have on the students will be powerful.
"To make them feel better," said Brianna Gutierrez. "To forget about everything, all the nightmares and everything."
"It will make them feel happy and make them feel glad," explained Marks. "Like they never left school."
If you want to make snowflakes of your own for the students, you can send them to the Connecticut Parent Teacher Student Association:
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514