When something bad happens you have many choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it inspire and strengthen you.
Here in my hometown of Newtown, CT, I am amazingly inspired by the actions of children I see around me who are doing good things to help in a difficult situation.
Not long after the recent tragedy, Newtown’s own children have been hard at work trying to help and they have been a great inspiration to adults here in Newtown and to the world. In fact, they have been helping in so many ways, it is hard to keep track of! Here are just a few examples of their service and kindness in action:
Many children have created fundraisers for the families of Sandy Hook students. Newtown siblings CJ, Cayden and Casey huddled around their kitchen table just days after the event occurred and decided the best way to help was by creating and selling “We Are Newtown” wristbands. Within a week, along with help from their friends, including my own kids, they had raised over $10,000 for a fund that will benefit the families of Sandy Hook! Beyond the money that was raised for charity, their efforts provided an easy way for others in town to show their support and give back.
12 year old Newtown resident Joshua Bent spent Christmas Eve day volunteering his time to make sure other kids in Newtown were enjoying themselves at a community sledding event. As Joshua told the Newtown Patch “I love doing this stuff. I love seeing the kids sledding and seeing their smiles. I love seeing them so happy.”
Several students of Newtown music teacher Jim Allyn joined forces with Mr. Allyn to create this great musical tribute to Newtown.
Other children, including siblings Logan, Owen and Cole, joined their parents and friends in an evening of caroling throughout Sandy Hook, CT. Their smiling faces and music were received with great joy and appreciation from their neighbors.
More recently a group of Newtown and Sandy Hook students joined folk singer Ingrid Michaelson to form the “The Newtown Music Project” which aims to raising funds for two local charities.
Creating Positive Community Change:
Newtown’s Max Goldstein, a 12 year old lacrosse player and video game player decided that enough is enough. He has started a cause named “Played Out: Choose Not to Play” and encouraging kids to give up their violent video games and have them destroyed. He has even set up local receptacles for kids to dump their games!
A number of Newtown children are also supporting the Sandy Hook Promise, a movement to bring people together from around the country to prevent violence in our society.
Newtown’s children are an incredible example for both kids and adults around the world. Please join these amazing children in being the change you want see in the world.
- Read about an Newtown adult who has been inspired by some of the children’s efforts
Topics for Discussion:
- What do all these children have in common?
- What does it take to help others in need?
- There are many ways to react to a tragedy. Helping other is one of them. Have you ever helped anyone who was going through a hard time? How did it make them feel? How did it make you feel?
- Here are 8 things kids can do to create a safer community
- You can start a fundraiser to help benefit the Sandy Hook community. Here is a list of 101 fundraising ideas!
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.