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Shirley school sending snowflakes to new Sandy Hook campus

Sheri-Lea Kujan, an art teacher at John S.

Sheri-Lea Kujan, an art teacher at John S. Hobart Elementary School in Shirley, taught fourth-graders how to make 3-D snowflakes. These snowflakes will be sent to Connecticut to decorate the building that will house students from Sandy Hook Elementary School. (Dec. 19, 2012) Credit: Handout

The “Winter Wonderland” that will greet students who return to school after surviving the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy will include a steady supply of snowflakes from John S. Hobart Elementary School in Shirley.

An unused school in Monroe, Conn., is being furnished and decorated for the students’ return next month.

So when Hobart art teacher Sheri-Lea Kujan heard the Sandy Hook PTA was requesting winter-themed decorations to ease the students’ transition, she knew how her school could help.

On Wednesday, Kujan worked with fourth-graders from teacher Matthew Miller’s class to create 10 blue, 3-D snowflakes to send to Monroe. They were shipped on Friday, but they won’t be the last batch.

“The project that we did in the art room has inspired people in the school,” said Kujan, 27, who graduated from William Floyd High School in 2003 and is in her first year as a full-time teacher. “They [Sandy Hook students] are going to receive different kinds of snowflakes from different grade levels.”

When the shooting occurred Kujan was teaching a class. She was told by a custodian and had to stay composed long enough to finish with the kids. It’s been a tough stretch for the new teacher, but she seemed to get as much out of the art project as her students.

“It was a real eye opener for me and the students,” Kujan said. “The questions they asked me and the way they talked to one another, I was very impressed by how they were handling the incident. … It was an emotional project; they were very happy to help kids in another community.”

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