Orland School District 135 parents knew something needed to be done for the Newtown children, following the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Julie Hildebrand, co-president of the Center School Parents for Education, learned about a call out from the Sandy Hook Parent Teachers Association for homemade snowflakes. With the Sandy Hook students attending school elsewhere in January, the idea was to decorate the building as a “Winter Wonderland” and help ease the students’ transition to a new place, according to the Connecticut Parent Student Teacher Association’s website.
Hildebrand put forth the idea about D135 families doing the same, and the response in support of it was “overwhelming,” said D135 PFE President Tracy Pelini.
“The idea is to take their mind off the fact that they aren’t in their original school for the time being,” Pelini said. “This is a simple way we can help bring smiles to their faces when they return to school.”
On Thursday from 10 a.m. until noon, parents and students can visit the Orland School District 135 Administration Center at 15100 S. 94th Ave., and help make paper snowflakes. The district’s PFEs will have supplies on hand.
“Bring your kids and bring a smile,” Pelini said. “Everything else is provided.”
Students will also be treated with cookies after making snowflakes, Pelini said. Families who cannot attend the event will still be able to drop off snowflakes at the D135 schools once classes resume on Monday, Jan. 7.
“If something like what happened in Connecticut happened here in District 135, we’d be pulling together,” Pelini said. “That’s why it’s important we show our support for fellow schools in need.”
School districts from across the country have responded to the call, donating thousands of snowflakes. The massive response led the Connecticut PTSA to close the program from further donations. But the organization encouraged people to continue with the effort and place the snowflakes locally in schools in solidarity with the Sandy Hook students.
From the Connecticut PTSA:
Thank you to everyone who has donated snowflakes on behalf of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the community of Newtown. We know that each snowflake represents the emotional outreach of the person making it. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity from around not just the country but the world. At this time, we have enough beautiful snowflakes to blanket the community of Newtown. Therefore, with regret we must close the snowflake project to further donations. Please take this idea and your snowflakes and create a winter wonderland of your own in your community as a show of solidarity for our Newtown families. Please share your winter wonderlands with us. We would love to share your pictures with the families of Sandy Hook and all the other participating communities.
Once Pelini and other D135 PFE officers heard the announcement, they unanimously decided to continue with Thursday’s event.
“We will be asking the schools, and local businesses and government offices to hang our snowflakes in their locations,” Pelini said. “We’d like to take the chance to show our support throughout the Orland Park community, not just within the schools.”
Snowflakes for Sandy Hook Open House
- When: 10 a.m.- noon, Thursday, Jan. 2
- Where: Orland School District 135 Administration Center, 15100 S. 94th Ave.
- Bring: Just yourselves, your kids and smiles. Supplies will be provided
Click here to see other ways you can help the families of Newtown.
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