The Connecticut Education Association (CEA) announced today that it has created the “Sandy Hook Memorial and Scholarship Fund” within the organization’s non-profit arm, the Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF).
CEA President Sheila Cohen said, “We consider it a privilege to provide a platform to support the Newtown community. The grief and challenges the community face are extraordinary, and we hope our fund will provide some small solace in the months and years ahead. This small step that CEA is taking can in no way take away the pain that we feel, but it is a reminder of our compassion and dedication to the teachers of Connecticut and the children they teach.”
CEA has set a fundraising goal of at least $1 million. Teachers as well as the general public can make donations here.
Gifts collected will be donated to the Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Connecticut. Cohen said, “This is a tribute that we hope will be meaningful and lasting to the families in the devastated community of Newtown. In the long-term, we hope to help a number of young people pursue their academic goals at UConn.”
CEA support includes a permanent monument honoring the innocent lives lost
In addition to contributing to the UConn Scholarship Fund, CEA has commissioned sculptor Marilyn Parkinson Thrall to create a bronze sculpture memorializing the heroism and sacrifice that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The CEA plan is to unveil the sculpture to mark the first anniversary of the mass shooting at the school.
Cohen said, “The monument will remember the happy memories and the innocent lives of the children lost and the teachers committed to educating them. It will be a place of comfort for friends, family members, the education community, and the nation, to help them heal from this unimaginable tragedy.”
In December, CEA and its members held vigils, offered help, and provided resources to support those directly impacted by the tragedy. Cohen explained, “We have made tools available to assist the educators and parents who must help children cope with this tragedy. And we will continue to be there supporting the community as we move forward.”
CEF is a non-profit, charitable foundation that was established in 1989 to help teachers and children with extraordinary challenges.