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Students in Lynne Pravda’s art classes at Memorial Junior High School made cards for the people of Newtown, Conn. to show their support of the grief-stricken community. Pictured with Pravda, top left, are a group of seventh graders displaying their work and Memorial Principal Anthony Mignella, right.
School News
Valley Stream students send their support to Sandy Hook

When Lynne Pravda heard about the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, one of the first thoughts to pop into her head was how could she help.

“There’s nothing we can do to make it (better),” Pravda, an art teacher at Memorial Junior High School, recalled thinking. “But what can we do to show that we care?”

On Dec. 17, when students at Memorial returned to school for the first time since the tragic shooting, Pravda told each one of her nine classes that their scheduled curriculum had been changed and they would be making cards to show their support to the community of Newtown.

Principal Anthony Mignella began the Dec. 17 school day with a moment of silence for the victims in Newtown and urged teachers and students to show their support to the hurting Connecticut community. He said Pravda and her approximately 250 students didn’t hesitate to act.

Students in grades seven through nine each wrote heartfelt messages to the community of Newtown and drew a picture on the front of their respective cards. Seventh grader Ayana Bisnar drew an angel on her card and wrote, “I am terribly sorry and I wish I could do more for you, but please know my thoughts go out to all of you. My heart mourns along with you, as well as hundreds of others. Know you are not alone, I am here with you.”

“Look up at the stars for your little angels because they’re always looking at you,” Janay Jackson, a fellow seventh grader, wrote. “Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t survive in your hearts. They will always love you and they will always know you love them back.”

Mignella, who heard students read their cards aloud for the first time while meeting with the Herald on Dec. 19, said it was very touching experience. “It’s nice to see the students at this young age, 11, 12 years old, being able to relate and show support for those families,” he said.

Seventh grader Angie Rubio shared her card and said, “They are angels and they will protect you. I hope this card will make you feel better and God bless you.”


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