Club sends kind words to Connecticut

Middle schoolers also made Christmas cards for assisted living community
By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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Members of the fledgling Lincoln Kiwanis Builders Club at Glen Edwards Middle School are sending messages of comfort and love to the students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a tragedy that claimed the lives of 20 children, seven adults and the shooter Friday.

The students who belong to the two-month old club wrote their thoughts on brightly colored yellow, green and red paper for the Sandy Hook Elementary School students. They also wrote Christmas cards for the residents of Villa Del Rey Assisted Living Community.

Nine of the 12 students who belong to the after school club participated in making cards on Dec. 18.

Sixth-grader Shasta Roberts, 11, said writing cards for the Newtown, Connecticut students was “awesome and fun at the same time.”

The outside of her card reads, “I am thinking of you.” The inside reads, “Glen Edwards Middle School is thinking of you from Lincoln, C.A. Love, Shasta. The card is decorated with hearts and smiles.

Club President LeeAnna O’Dell, 13, said she made one card for the elderly and one for the people who suffered in Connecticut.

Her card for the students in Connecticut read, “From Builders. We are thinking of you and we love you.”

O’Dell, an eighth-grader, said she put I love you “because I love little kids. They are like my family.”

The front of Manny Martinez’s card read, “We are thinking of you.” The inside read, “So very sorry for your loss.”

“It’s just awful,” said Martinez, 11, a sixth-grader. “That was tragedy right there.”

Club adviser Lori Reitman is sending the completed cards and Teddy bears in a package this week to the town of Newtown to deliver to the students. She will be delivering the students’ cards for the residents of Villa Del Rey this weekend. 

“Our middle school students want to help and serve others,” said Dr. Shelly Hoover, Glen Edwards Middle School principal and Lincoln Kiwanis Club member. “A program like the Builders Club is a great opportunity for that to happen.”

Lincoln Kiwanis Club President Dyann Branch and member Dar Gallaway approached Hoover about starting the Builders Club at the middle school as a feeder club to the Interact Club at Lincoln High School. Gallaway and fellow Kiwanis club members Kevin Smith and Bob Dale help coordinate the club.

“I’m always looking for positive, engaging activities for kids to do after school,” Hoover said.

The middle school club meets Tuesdays after school at 2:30 p.m. New members are welcome.

“This is our last meeting for the year,” Gallaway said of the middle school club. “I hope to see the membership double. In January, I hope to see the club create a long range plan. The students marched in the Christmas parade.”

When the students meet in January, they will plan their activities for the first three months of the year. One of their first fundraising activities will involve selling hot chocolate and cookies. The goal is to have one event each month. When the students return from the break they will be decorating club shirts to wear to their Tuesday meetings.