Friday, December 14, 2012 will forever be a day of sadness and sorrow for the sleepy town of Newtown, Connecticut. For young North Texas students whose sense of geography has yet to extend beyond the Red River, the state of Connecticut may seem light-years away. Feelings of long-distance helplessness did not stop Timberline Elementary in Grapevine, Texas from taking swift action to support the students affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy.
As the sun rose on the Monday following the day that likely changed public education forever, Timberline Elementary started a fund-raising campaign to support Sandy Hook. Timberline, like Sandy Hook, is a quiet, suburban elementary school, and Timberline’s call to action was immediate. Each morning of the week following the tragedy, Timberline PTA representatives stood in the cold and windy student drop-off area and collected monetary donations, art work, and letters in a concerted effort to assist the healing of the hurt sustained just a days before in Newtown.
Some of the students tried to donate their lunch money, and when they were politely refused, the students gave hugs instead, knowing somehow that the parents were struggling with the events at Sandy Hook. The response from the Timberline families and students was powerful and overwhelming. The effort raised hundreds of dollars, and dozens of pieces of art and letters of hope and love.
A Timberline Elementary care package of the donations will be delivered to the Sandy Hook PTA for the benefit of students and families affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy. The floor mat in front of Timberline’s welcoming entrance describes the school as a place that changes the world. This recent exhibition of leadership and love of country is an example of how such bold aspirations may be put into action and achieved.
Cory Halliburton serves as an officer on the Timberline Elementary PTA Board of Directors, and he is an active supporter of the Timberline Dads Club whose mission is to exhibit leadership and to provide opportunity for the positive development of all students at TES.