Reporting Christie Ileto
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—A pair of Baltimore County elementary schools plan to remember the lives lost from last month’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Christie Ileto explains students are making snowflake decorations this week, but they won’t be sending them to Newtown as originally planned.
Snowflakes for the students of Sandy Hook. That’s the project students like Bethany Gierczak and Phillip Mahomenka at Oakleigh Elementary started in their art class.
“I want them to look beautiful and nice,” said Gierczak.
“I like that we’re decorating the hallways to remember the people in Connecticut,” said Mahomenka.
The “Winter Wonderland” project officially kicks off Friday with the students from Stoneleigh Elementary. The goal is to make snowflake decorations to remember the lives lost in last month’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Police say Adam Lanza shot 26 people, including 20 children. The school remains an active crime scene.
Oakleigh staff say the snowflakes were to be sent to Newtown to decorate the new school students from Sandy Hook moved into this week, but event organizers say the decorations are now staying here.
“Because of the overwhelming support, the Newtown community has stopped accepting donations of the snowflakes, and asked communities to create their own winter wonderlands as an act of solidarity,” said Scott Kilpatrick, PTA president.
The snowflakes will instead be hung in the lobby of the school as a makeshift memorial for the 26 victims.
“The children, families can see them when they come and go,” said Sylvia Lemons, Oakleigh principal.
It helps students walk away with an important lesson.
“They can care about people not just in our community, but others who are hurting, suffering as well,” said Lemons.
It’s a lesson that students seem to already grasp.
“I want them to feel happy that we care about them,” said Mahomenka.
Event organizers say while those snowflakes won’t be going to Connecticut, Friday’s event will still happen.
Students, parents and teachers will be making snowflakes Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. If you can’t stop by to help, both schools are accepting donations of paper and scissor supplies too.