Third-grade students at Gibbs Magnet School of International Studies and Foreign Languages in Little Rock Arkansas have been working hard to raise money for the Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children and Families to help support the grieve and bereavement programs for families in the area who suffered tragic losses during the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. Their story aired on THV in Arkansas, a CBS and Gannett affiliate.
Third Graders in Little Rock Arkansas “Stick Together” to Raise Money for Sandy Hook Students.
Danbury: People of all ages in all parts of the world have been touched by the wave of sadness emanating from Newtown. Letters, mementos and remembrances have arrived here from across the globe by the thousands, none more touching than those from children. The Third-grade students at Gibbs Magnet School of International Studies and Foreign Languages in Little Rock, Arkansas decided to send a gift that would help provide long-term help for families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook shooting. They started a fundraising project to support the Healing Hearts Bereavement Center for Grieving Children and Families, the agency providing programs for Sandy Hook Elementary School Families. Their project is called “Kids Stick Together,” and its money-making products are decorative and useful items that they have made from duct tape.
Why would 8-year-olds more than 1,000 miles away think about providing money to help pay for counseling? As one boy in the class said, “If something like that happened here, we would need somebody to talk to.” Jennifer White, the teacher of the class that developed the project, read her students the Healing Hearts program description, including what some of the children will be doing in the groups. The class was particularly attentive when they heard that children participating in a grief support program sometimes do a craft project that involved breaking a terra cotta pot, gluing it back together and decorating it with words or artistic expressions of their feelings. One member of her class jumped up and said “Oh, I get it. His heart was broken and when he puts it back together he knows he can be healed.”
As of Tuesday, January 29, the students had raised $450. Since their story appeared on local television news channels late last week, other schools in Little Rock have offered to help sell the products. Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children and Families has been providing free grief and bereavement support for families in the area who suffered tragic losses during the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting since Dec. 14th and has developed a number of programs intended to continue through the next three to five years.
“We understand emotion ‘spilling out our eyes’ around here, from the first graders finding pennies on the ground to help, to the 5th graders donating the rest of their change even after purchasing things” said Ms. White. “It has been a very heart touching experience for us, and we are so happy to be able to help.”
Healing Hearts Center for Grieving Children and Families, a program of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut, has been providing free bereavement programs in Western Connecticut since 1995. It is funded solely through contributions and grants.
Ms. White’s third grade class at Gibbs Magnet School of International Studies and Foreign Languages in Little Rock, Arkansas.