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A bus traveling from Newtown, Conn., to Monroe stops in front of 26 angels along the roadside on the first day of classes for Sandy Hook Elementary School students since the Dec. 14 shooting, in Monroe, Conn., Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Chalk Hill School in Monroe was overhauled especially for the students from the Sandy Hook School shooting. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
The Connecticut Education Association has created the “Sandy Hook Memorial and Scholarship Fund” through the non-profit Connecticut Education Foundation and hopes to raise at least $1 million.
“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 President Sheila Cohen said in a statement.
Teachers as well as the general public can make donations at www.cea.org.
The money will go toward the Sandy Hook School Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Connecticut.
“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,” Cohen said.
CEA support includes a permanent monument honoring the innocent lives lost of 20 first graders and six staff members.
CEA has commissioned Connecticut sculptor Marilyn Parkinson Thrall and plans to unveil the sculpture to mark the first anniversary of the mass shooting at the school.
“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,” Cohen said.