Students from École Camille J. Lerouge in Red Deer spent their lunch hours this week making 500 guardian angels to send to the staff and students of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
Last week, a gunman opened fire and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
Students in Newtown returned to school on Tuesday, with the exception of Sandy Hook Elementary students. They will attend classes at an unused middle school in neighbouring Monroe after the winter break. Sandy Hook school is closed indefinitely.
Art teacher Evelyn Leger, who spearheaded the project in Red Deer, said she got the idea from a school nurse who once gave a teddy bear to a boy who had lost his father. Leger said that student still has the bear, and is now in his 20s.
Leger said she wanted to give the students and staff of Sandy Hook something tangible, so that each recipient would understand that there are people who care about them. Donations of money, she said, might not mean very much to some of the small children.
“The big thing is to just let people know there at the school that we’re thinking of them and praying for them,” said Denise Kofin with École Camille J. Lerouge.
Leger taught 51 middle school students how to make old-fashioned yarn dolls on Monday and they made them into angels. These students then taught the younger children in the school, and they all worked on them for the rest of the week. She said the students “have not lost the passion.”
“They really took it to heart,” Leger said, noting that making angels was, “all they wanted to do at lunch time.”
Each yarn angel is finished off with a small heart.
The school planned to send the box full of angels, with a letter from students and staff, to Newtown on Friday.
Leger said even if it helps only one person, the efforts of the students will have made a difference.