Helping to Heal
As the news of the December shooting at a Newtown elementary school exploded, Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall was reminded of a book that his high school once read aloud to the class. It was a children’s story about the struggle of two caterpillars, and how their difficulties eventually result in the emergence of something more hopeful – butterflies.
“Hope for the Flowers is an allegory for difficult times that contains an optimistic message,” Dr. Crandall, the director of the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield, says. “The story resonated with me all those years ago, and throughout my teaching whenever I have had a student who was struggling, I would get that book for him or her.”
With the support of author Trina Paulus and the Paulist Press, the book’s publisher, he gathered 120 books to distribute to Newtown students and counselors. Dr. Crandall then shared the project with the National Writing Project, a community of 70,000 literacy leaders across the nation. To date, contributions have reached a total of 400 books.
GSEAP has responded in other ways as well. “We have a longstanding relationship with Sandy Hook School and the Newtown School District,” said Dr. Susan D. Franzosa, dean. “We realized that our own students, graduates, and instructors would need support as they returned to their classrooms.” To help meet those needs, GSEAP faculty have pulled together a series of talks and counseling sessions:
- Wednesday, February 13 – “Community Conversation on Family and Trauma,” a free forum with licensed clinicians for individuals and families dealing with profound loss or sorrow.
For more details, click here.
Over in Athletics, last Sunday was dubbed “Newtown Day,” and approximately 300 Newtown residents took Fairfield up on its offer of free tickets to the basketball game against Niagara. Youth basketball players were invited to participate in contests and meet with the players after the game, and the Pez Corporation donated gift bags to children. A portion of the day’s proceeds was sent to the “My Sandy Hook Fund,” and Newtown residents are invited to attend Fairfield basketball games as guests for the rest of the season. At a future date this spring, Fairfield athletes will hold an all-sports clinic for the youth of Newtown.