ASCP Staff Joins the Snowflake Blizzard to Memorialize the Victims at Sandy Hook School
Friday, January 4, 2013
Students of Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., entered a winter wonderland of handmade snowflakes adorning the walls, windows, and ceilings of their new building when they returned from winter break on Jan. 3.
Dozens of ASCP staff members are among the thousands of supporters worldwide who sent in carefully crafted, unique snowflakes—from coiled copy paper and Post-it notes to embroidery—as part of the Sandy Hook Snowflake Project.
“It’s a way to come together as an organization and as a country to show that we care about the lives lost. I love the idea that the snowflakes are as unique as the individuals making them.”
“Participating in this project allows ASCP to demonstrate its solidarity with and compassion for the Sandy Hook School community,” says Dr. E. Blair Holladay, Executive Vice President of ASCP.
ASCP Operations Manager Ana Martinez adds, “It’s a way to come together as an organization and as a country to show that we care about the lives lost. I love the idea that the snowflakes are as unique as the individuals making them.”
The Connecticut Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) announced the snowflake project on Dec. 16, two days after the tragic shooting when gunman Adam Lanza forcibly entered the school, killing 20 school children and six educators that included the principal. The project offered a way for others around the world—who might feel powerless over such an enormous tragedy—to use their creative talents to show empathy for the entire community.
The Sandy Hook school building is closed indefinitely. Students and educators have resumed classes in Chalk Hill School, a former middle school in the adjacent town of Monroe, Conn., which has been renamed and repurposed for the Sandy Hook Elementary School children and teachers.
When ASCP Membership Liaison Manager Jaime Andriopoulos read about the Sandy Hook Snowflake Project, she immediately suggested the Society’s Morale Committee take it on as an outreach project. “It’s a way to let them know that people are thinking of them,” she says.
Her colleagues agreed. “It makes me feel good to know that I am bringing hope and peace to the community during a difficult time,” adds Valerie Thomas, Finance/Administrative Coordinator for the Global Institute.
“I wanted to help create a magical wonderland for the children to help them heal and provide them with hope,” says Patricia Tanabe, MPA, MLS(ASCP)CM, Executive Director at the Board of Certification and ASCP Vice President.
Worldwide response to the appeal for snowflakes was so overwhelming that the school received enough snowflakes to blanket the community of Newtown. The PTSA’s storage rooms overflowed with snowflakes, and the owner of a business park in Newtown donated extra storage space as well.
As a result of the deluge, the PTSA has stopped accepting deliveries of snowflakes. Instead, it is encouraging participants to make snowflakes to create a winter wonderland in their own communities.
“Please share your winter wonderlands with us,” the PTSA wrote on its website. “We would love to share your pictures with the families of Sandy Hook and all the other participating communities.”
Individuals who would like to do more to honor the memory of Sandy Hook students and staff are encouraged to consider adopting Sandy Hook Elementary School's Project Eagle community service effort and adapting it locally. For details, visit www.ctpta.org/SANDY-HOOK-FUND.html.
“Thank you to everyone who has donated snowflakes on behalf of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the community of Newtown,” the Sandy Hook PTA leadership wrote on the school website. “We know that each snowflake represents the emotional outreach of the person making it. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity, not just from around the country but from around the world.”