Stephanie Steinberg, wtop.com
UPDATE: The Connecticut PTSA is no longer accepting snowflakes to decorate the new school building, but encourages communities to continue making them as a show of solidarity for Newtown families.
WASHINGTON -The Newtown community has received hundreds of toys, stuffed animals and books, but the Connecticut PTSA is asking supporters to donate something that doesn't cost more than a few minutes of time to create: paper snowflakes.
The students who attend Sandy Hook Elementary School -- where 20 children and six adults were killed on Dec. 14 -- will return to school in a new building after their winter break.
To help make the new school a welcoming environment, National PTA President Betsy Lander wrote in an email that the PTA is asking for paper snowflakes that volunteers will string throughout the school 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," Lander says.
The Connecticut PTSA office has not counted how many snowflakes it has received, but Lander estimates the number is in the hundreds of thousands.
Schools across the country are answering the snowflake call. The PTAS of Oakleigh and Stoneleigh elementary schools in Maryland will host a snowflake making event for the public Jan. 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Oakleigh Elementary School in Parkville, Md.
The PTA is asking participants to bring scissors, and the association will provide paper and other supplies.
Aimee Freeman, chair of the Stoneleigh Elementary PTA health and safety committee, says the PTA doesn't have a target number of snowflakes it hopes to create at the event.
"My goal is to offer a forum where our community can come together to do something for another community in need," she says.
Oakleigh PTA President Scott Kilpatrick says making a snowflake is a simple act in memory of the 26 victims.
"After this tragedy many of us were left wondering what we could do," Kilpatrick says. "I did not want to jump on the agenda bandwagon but rather wanted to do something that would have an actual impact on the Newtown community."
The Connecticut PTSA is accepting snowflakes until Jan. 12. 2012. Snowflakes can be mailed to the following address:
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, Conn., 06514
The Connecticut PTSA is also seeking monetary donations. Checks can be written to "Connecticut PTSA Sandy Hook Fund," or donations can be made online at www.ctpta.org.
Kennedy Elementary School in Medford, Ore. makes snowflakes to send to Connecticut:
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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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