October 23, 2014
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Reaching out to Sandy Hook
UNIQUE: Snowflakes created by Pilgrim students were sent to Sandy Hook School.

To the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to thank the amazing group of faculty, staff and students at Pilgrim High School. In light of the devastating tragedy, our school community didn’t want to feel helpless as our sad hearts weighed heavily within us. We decided we needed to do something, in some small way, to help us to get through the sadness and help our neighbors in Connecticut. Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 a school-wide dress down day was scheduled at Pilgrim to benefit the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In the spirit of the season, we invited everyone to wear their very ugliest Christmas sweater or any ugly sweater they could find. We knew they all secretly had one hanging around somewhere, whether they owned it themselves or could easily borrow one from a relative. If they didn’t have one, they were encouraged to create one and some wonderful creations were had. I am always proud to be called a Patriot, but once again, I am amazed of the outpouring of love and pride as many in the building participated. Walking around, visiting classrooms and experiencing flash mob singing in the cafeteria during the lunches proved, once again, the spirit and pride our Patriots have.

There was also an invitation to Welcome Students to a Winter Wonderland at Sandy Hook by parent-volunteers and the Connecticut PTSA. The following was posted in the National PTA communications:

“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 are encouraged to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike.”

This opportunity proved a great way for students to feel that they are not powerless to help the Sandy Hook students acclimate and come to terms with their new school. As students created the snowflakes, it gave some of our teachers the opportunity to let students discuss what was on their mind and help ease some of the fear the students at Pilgrim have. Needless to say, I have many snowflakes to deliver this week. I am sure the town will receive more snowflakes than they possibly can use, but I hope some of the snowflakes created at Pilgrim will hang proudly as remembrance for all those who left us too soon. All total, almost $1,000 and as many snowflakes will be sent to our friends in Connecticut.

Below is a poem Jackie, a student at Pilgrim, attached to her snowflake that I would like to share.

The sky has been crying
since the day they went,
A life too short but time well spent.
Twenty seven beautiful angels
were sent to heaven
to keep God company,
that was his intent.
Aching hearts and red eyes,
unanswered questions “Why?”
The stars are really them in the sky,
in peace and happiness may they lie.

Marie Cote
Principal
Pilgrim High School


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