Like the previous seven entries in the series (and those still to come), today we will continue to present even more evidence that Sandy Hook Elementary School was open and fully operational – and had been for fifty-six years – when Adam Lanza shot his way into the school and murdered twenty children and six adults. This of course runs completely contrary to the absurd idea – presented by conspiracy theorists such as James Fetzer and Wolfgang Halbig – that it was quietly shuttered in 2008 due to a non-existent asbestos problem. Or dirty walls. Or whatever the claim is these days.
Throughout the years, the students and staff of Sandy Hook lent their time to a number of charitable causes, from collecting Valentine’s Day cards for American troops every February to Thanksgiving food drives. These photographs represent just some of the events that took place at the school, featured here because they can be corroborated by write-ups in The Newtown Bee and/or on social media. Other examples of the school’s giving spirit can already be seen elsewhere on the site, such as the “small bags, bears, books, and basics” as well as the hats and mittens collection drives seen here. Many more are outlined in this article (“Sandy Hook School 3rd And 4th Graders Focus On Community Service”), published by The Newtown Patch on June 21st, 2012.
The Newtown Fund’s “Depot Day”
December 19th, 2009
The Newtown Fund is a fifty-seven year-old charity that, according to their website, provides “emergency relief to Newtown citizens in need”. “Depot Day” is their annual gift giving program, and on Saturday, December 19th, 2009, “several dozen” volunteers gathered at Sandy Hook School to organize the donations. While neither The Newtown Bee article from December 25th, 2009 covering the event nor the accompanying photographs feature any students from Sandy Hook, we can see that the school’s landscaping remains well-maintained landscaping and there are holiday decorations in the windows. Interestingly, in this first photo, we can see that the SMART Board and Unifi 65 projector (discussed here) have not yet been installed in classroom eight. That makes complete sense as the Unifi 65 was not released until nearly two years later.
“Boy Scouts hefted numerous brightly wrapped gifts into waiting vehicles for delivery to needy families across town during The Newtown Fund’s Depot Day.”
“Adults and youths joined forces on a frigid Saturday, December 19, loading vehicles which had come to Sandy Hook School to transport bundles of donated Christmas gifts to local needy families, all part of The Newtown Fund’s Depot Day.”
“Two boy scouts and an adult loaded the spacious truck of a large sedan with gifts bound for a local needy family on December 17 during The Newtown Fund’s annual Depot Day.”
“Three Boy Scouts from Troop 370 paused for a moment during The Newtown Fund’s Depot Day activities at Sandy Hook School on December 19. From left is Jacob Branchflower, James Craig, and Stephen Pansa.”
Read To Grow
Beginning in December of 2009 and running through the end of January, 2010, Sandy Hook School students an impressive number of books for Read To Grow, a Connecticut-area charity that looks to collect books for low income and non-English speaking households. The January 8th, 2010 edition of The Newtown Bee notes:
Library/media specialist Beverly Bjorklund said recently the program had collected more than 1,100 books before winter break.
No books from the Sandy Hook School library have or will add to the book drive collection. While the effort is only open to Sandy Hook School families, Excel Tutoring, 20 Church Hill Road, also has a collection box set up for collections from the public.
So the families of a school that had been closed for two years – at least according to lunatic James Fetzer – were still somehow able to donate over 1,000 books. Impressive. Even more impressive is the fact that the children who donated books, inspired by Jeff Brumbeau’s “The Quilt Maker’s Gift”, recreated the cover of the book they were donating on a piece of paper, and used those pieces of paper to create a large “quilt” that hung outside the school’s library:
“Drawn book covers by Sandy Hook students are part of the effort to collect books for Read To Grow. The collection at Sandy Hook Elementary School began at the start of December, and had grown to more than 1,100 books before winter break began. It will close at the end of January.”
“A ‘quilt’ of paper book covers drawn by Sandy Hook Elementary students has been created outside the school’s library, where a collection of books for Read To Grow Inc, which provides children with books, has been gathering. As students bring in new or gently used books to add to the collection, they draw the cover and add it to the quilt.”
Due to their incredible response, Read To Grow was able to induct Sandy Hook School into their “500 Club” in their 2009-2010 annual report:
Valentines For Troops
February 3rd, 2012
Since 2005, Sandy Hook School students have been sending cards and letters to members of the military stationed overseas. This tradition carried on in to 2012, and when The Newtown Bee visited the school on February 3rd, 2012, they found a group of second graders hard at work, boxing up that year’s collection. From the February 10th, 2012 edition of the paper:
On Friday, February 3, Ms Randle was at Sandy Hook Elementary School as students stamped multiple boxes of written letters and goods to be loaded into a postal truck by Mr Favale before being sent to their designated locations.
“Beautiful job,” said Barbara Sibley, PTA coordinator for the Valentines For Troops effort at Sandy Hook Elementary School to the gathered second grade students working to stamp the boxes for shipping. “Excellent.”
The Newtown Bee’s photography site includes a couple of pictures from the article, showing the students preparing their boxes for shipment:
“Sandy Hook School second grader Alexis Wasik readied a box of letters and goods to be sent for the Valentines for Troops effort.”
“Sandy Hook School second graders pose Friday, February 3, with boxes prepared by the school for this year’s Valentines for Troops effort.”
Note that the contents of the glass display cases behind the children are different from what we’ve seen in other photographs.
And back in 2011, Valentines For Troops Newtown – who had been organizing the collection for years – also published a couple of photographs from Sandy Hook School on their Facebook page. Note the dates.
The Newtown Bee had previously covered Sandy Hook School’s Valentine for troops efforts in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
H2O For Life’s “Walk For Water”
May 7th, 2012
According to the April 26th, 2012 edition of The Sandy Hook Connection (PDF creation date April 25th, 2012), the school’s 4th grade teachers and families had a booth at Newtown’s 2012 Earth Day festival (which was held on April 28th) in order to raise funds for their upcoming charity walkathon:
And on Monday, May 7th, 2012, Sandy Hook’s fourth graders – some carrying up to ten pounds worth of donated food in their backpacks – participated in the simulated three mile walk to benefit H20 For Life, a non-profit that works with schools, youth groups, and faith-based organizations everywhere to raise awareness about the ongoing global water crisis. Students spent months studying the water cycle as part of their science curriculum, and The Newtown Bee was on hand to report on the school’s culminating event. From the May 11th, 2012 edition of the paper:
Sandy Hook School Fourth Grade Walks Three Miles For A Cause –
Monday’s walk was the culmination of the fourth grade studying the water crisis, as fourth grade teacher and team leader Carrie Usher explained the week before the walk. After segueing from learning about the water cycle as part of the science curriculum, Ms Usher said the students then learned about the water crisis.
The fourth grade then joined in a partnership with the Kiplelgutik School in Kenya through the H2O For Life nonprofit organization, which provides opportunities for youths to partner with schools in developing countries where water, sanitation, and hygiene education are in need, according to the organization.
The following two photographs of the walk were published alongside the article:
H2O For Life wrote about the efforts of the Sandy Hook students on their Facebook page in July of 2012 (although the Constant Contact link has expired):
They also posted their condolences shortly after the shooting, on December 14th, 2012:
And wrote about the tragedy at greater length a few days later, on December 19th, 2012:
Again, the Constant Contact has unfortunately expired.
Adopt A Family
November 14th, 2012
In addition to “Depot Day” (seen above), The Newtown Fund also organizes the “adoption” of needy families for the holidays. Interested adopters purchase food and gifts for the designated family. Teachers (including victim Victoria Soto) from Sandy Hook held a bake sale in the lobby to raise money for the cause on November 14th, 2012, as seen in this tweet from school principal and victim Dawn Hochsprung:
Women In Newtown’s Thanksgiving Baskets “Turkey Trot”
November 15th, 2012
Women Involved In Newtown (or WIN, for short) is another Newtown-area charity that aims to help feed needy families during the holiday season. In order to “build enthusiasm” for the group’s Thanksgiving food drive, Sandy Hook School held its annual “Turkey Trot” on Thursday, November 15th, 2012. According to the November 23rd, 2012 edition of The Newtown Bee, this particular school tradition has “students walk around a designated area on the school’s property while gobbling and ‘flapping their wings’ like turkeys.”
The article includes the following four photographs, taken in an area by the school’s playground:
The 2012 Turkey Trot is corroborated by the November 8th, 2012 edition of The Sandy Hook Connection:
Turkey Trot November 15
It’s almost Turkey Trot time at Sandy Hook School. This year, the Turkey Trot will take place on Thursday, November 15 for our Goodwill Day celebration during International Education Week. This event will help the children exercise as well as fill food baskets for needy Newtown families. In lieu of their specials classes for the day, all children will participate in this non-competitive, fun run on the ‘Turkey Trail’ around the school baseball and soccer fields; please dress appropriately. Each trotter is encouraged to donate one can of food (fruit, soup, vegetables, etc.), which must be delivered to your child’s classroom by Friday, November 16. Help promote our core beliefs of citizenship and caring through this school-wide event.
Sheets From Home
November 25th, 2012
Sheets From Home is an Indiana-based charity formed in 2010 that collects new, colorful bed sheets (usually decorated with superheroes, Disney characters, or something similar) for pediatric cancer patients to use during their hospital stays, and their Kids4Kids program brings these efforts to schools all across the country. In November of 2012, both Hawley and Sandy Hook Schools of Newtown, CT held their own collection drives to benefit Sheets From Home, the latter of which is discussed in the November 15th, 2012 edition of The Sandy Hook Connection:
Sheets From Home – Collection Drive
SHS’s Project Eagle has teamed up with the Halevi family in support of their Sheets From Home program (www.sheetsfromhome.org). We are currently collecting new (full, toddler, or crib size) bed sheets with kids’ characters and themes for donation to the Pediatric Oncology department at Connecticut Children’s Hospital in Hartford. A collection bin will be in the SHS lobby November 12 – 26. If you have any questions, you can contact the Halevi family at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
The collection was also advertised on the Sheets From Home Facebook page on November 2nd, 2012:
Pictures of some of the Sandy Hook School students posing with donated sheets were then posted to the Sheets From Home Facebook page on November 25th, 2012 (though the pictures were very likely taken earlier than that):
Note the sign for the Adopt A Family bake sale – which took place on November 14th, 2012 and was discussed earlier – hanging on the door behind them. Now James Fetzer (and many of his fellow deniers) would love to have you believe that the people in charge of staging this incredibly elaborate hoax forgot to continue updating the school website (which we know isn’t true) while achieving this level of coordination and participation with their “staged” photos.
For more in the “Sandy Hook Elementary Was Open” series, please read:
Part One: The Lobby
Part Two: The Obstinate Pen
Part Three: Holiday Decorations And Calendars
Part Four: SMART Technologies
Part Five: Dawn Hochsprung’s Twitter Feed
Part Six: The 2011-2012 Scrapbook
Part Seven: Children’s Authors Visit Sandy Hook
Part Eight: Charitable Causes
Part Nine: The Library
Part Ten: 92 More Photos From Sandy Hook School
Part Eleven: 180 Articles Referencing Sandy Hook School, Written Between 2008-2012
Part Twelve: The Glass Display Cases
Part Thirteen: Google Earth
Part Fourteen: The November 2012 Scholastic Book Fair
Part Fifteen: Sandy Hook School Enrollment For 2008-2017