Students from La Tierra Montessori School for the Arts and Science in Española prepare their hearts to comfort, encourage and support the students and staff at Berrendo Middle School. (Courtesy Photo)
The shooting on Jan. 14 at Berrendo Middle School has touched the hearts of people across the nation.
One school, La Tierra Montessori School for the Arts and Science in Española, is reaching out quite literally with hearts in their hands through their newly formed Parent Teacher Association.
Said PTA President Ben Sandoval: “…the group has collaborated with the teachers and students of the Lower EL, Middle EL and Upper EL classrooms [after] the New Mexico PTA put a call out to any PTA’s throughout the state to unify by supporting the ‘Hearts for Berrendo Middle School Project,’ in response to the recent tragedy at their school.”
Sandoval explained the school has three classes of students that range in age from 7 to 14.
Each group reacted differently. The middle school students expressed sorrow and disappointment that such at thing could happen, while the fourth- and fifth-grade class were excited to be get to know students from other schools.
“We did not provide detail to the younger students. We did not want to traumatize them. … They may have seen news reports, but we felt it was up to the parents to discuss it with them,” Sandoval said.
About 100 hearts were created by the three classrooms at La Tierra Montessori School. The hearts all had special messages of encouragement, compassion, friendship, and love for students they have never met. Sandoval said that each heart had a special touch and was signed by the students who created them.
The hearts were mailed to Berrendo Middle School on Feb. 7, in hopes that the students, parents and faculty will be able to move forward in their healing process.
The school also sent, a letter which has been reproduced in its entirety below.
Dear Berrendo Middle School Staff, Students and Parents,
On behalf of all the students, faculty, staff and parents of La Tierra Montessori School for the Arts and Sciences, our La Tierra Montessori PTA would like to share our love and thoughts of compassion to all involved in the recent trauma that occurred at your school.
We care about all involved and as a PTA; we have organized to have some handmade hearts to be shared with all. We hope that our expression of kindness can help console your hearts and remind you that you are not alone. Our student body wishes to offer you words of cheer, compassion, love and kindness. Please know that you have friends here in northern New Mexico and we are thinking about you.
It is time to heal, time to rebound, unite and embrace one another. Situations such as the one you recently experienced bring to light the support that is truly present. We hope you can take this time to look at one another, hug each another and just say thank you for being you. We must all value the life of each and every individual.
In closing, we wish to give Berrendo Middle School a huge HUG and thank you for your resilience and strength moving forward. Your friends at La Tierra Montessori School for the Arts and Sciences and La Tierra Montessori PTA care about you and your success!