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Twality Middle School students reach out to Sandy Hook community with art

This Nokes Communications press event garnered coverage in The Oregonian, Times Publications and a feature on KGW-TV.

TIGARD, Ore. — Twality Middle School art students are using their creations to help the healing in Newton, Conn., following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Jeannine Miller’s classes of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders are crafting batik, quilted wall hangings. Students each painted a square of fish or flowers, which will be stitched together for the quilts.When completed, they will be sent to the Healing Newton organization — managed by the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission.

DSC_0030“I hope it shows people that we do care and we’re doing everything we can to rebuild community back there,” said Sienna Symonds, eighth grader at Twality Middle School. “No child should have to be afraid to go to school.”

Twality Middle School teacher Jeannine Miller assembles the student-made squares for the quilt. Credit: Deston Nokes

After seeing the horrible news about the Sandy Hook shooting on television last December, communications consultant Tamara Hufford-Wong wanted to find some way to reach out to the Newton, Conn., community.

She created Art for the Families, which recruited art class students at Twality Middle School in Tigard, Ore., to create art for Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“The idea of creating Art for the Families came to me the day after the shooting,” said Hufford-Wong. “I was feelinghelpless and upset, and I thought they could express their support for the school through art.”

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Twality Middle School teacher Jeannine Miller assembles the student-made squares for the quilt. Credit: Deston Nokes

She phoned Twality Middle School principal Rick Patrick, who put her in contact with art teacher, Jeannine Miller. Her students were just getting ready to go for Christmas break, so the classes began working on the project immediately after New Year’s.

“The kids are so excited to be helping in any way they can, and I’m thrilled to be helping folks through art and communication, which is my goal,” said Hufford-Wong. “I’m on a personal mission to bring back manners, kindness and respect. My goal is to help folks understand that we matter to each other.

“It shouldn’t take a tragedy for us to show compassion to one another.”

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