It is with heavy hearts and the deepest sympathy that we express our condolences to the families and communities affected by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We have watched with profound sadness, pained that school violence has again claimed so many beloved students and educators. As you read these words, the families in Newtown, Connecticut are enduring unspeakable heartache and loss. Together let us pray that they will receive the comfort they so desperately need.
National PTA and the Connecticut PTSA pledge our unwavering support to the Newtown community. In the past few days, we have met with PTA leaders of all of the schools in Newtown, including the Sandy Hook PTA, and community leaders who have requested our help in supporting the families. For those of us who are looking to be of assistance in the aftermath, we share the following projects in need of your support:
Welcome Students to a Winter Wonderland
When school resumes for Sandy Hook, it will be in a new building. Parent-volunteers 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. We encourage senders to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike. Please make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to the Connecticut PTSA address at the end of this email.
Donating and Organizing Fundraisers for Sandy Hook Elementary School
Donations will be accepted indefinitely to the Connecticut PTSA “Sandy Hook Fund” to provide ongoing support to the community. Please send checks to the Connecticut PTSA address listed at the end of this email. Group fundraising projects may include walk-a-thons, spirits days, pajama days, etc., which may be scheduled at your convenience.
For student-run coin drives, please submit all donations by February 14, 2012.
The Newtown community has requested only monetary donations at this time. For service or product donation inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact Sandy Hook PTA, please email email@example.com.
National PTA Advocacy
Toward the end of the week, we will be prepared to share with you how best to advocate for school safety at the state and federal levels in response to this tragedy. As we said on Friday, National PTA prioritizes the protection of children in all schools and believes it is fundamental to learning. We have several position statements and resolutions related to school violence and child safety, which we will package and share widely very soon. Rest assured, we fully plan to engage our powerful network of nearly 5 million dedicated members to make a difference on this issue.
Many parents may feel at a loss about how to approach the subject of school violence with their children. For information on helping your child cope, discussing issues of violence and hate, and keeping your school safe, please visit our website at PTA.org/schoolviolence.
Thank you for your generous support and dedication to the children and families of Newtown, Connecticut