Sandy Hook Elementary School children are still struggling to cope with the tragedy that took place three months ago, but some of young victims have found comfort in a familiar place — toys.
Though the school has been closed, the sign that read “Sandy Hook Elementary” taken down, and the children moved to other schools, the trauma is still fresh for many of them. Jakob Wenis, a kindergartner, said he didn’t see gunman Adam Lanza during his shooting rampage that left 26 people dead, including 20 children, but had to witness the bloody aftermath.
The horrible memories keep Jakob up at night, and his parents still suffer as well.
“We actually thought Jakob had been killed at one point,” his father, Chris Wenis, told CBS New York.
For Christmas, Jakob’s parents bought him a toy called “A Starshine Watchdog” that stays away while he sleeps, playing pinpoint stars around the room.
“I feel happy and braver,” Jakob said.
Jakob’s parents saw that it worked so well to help him hope that the called the toy’s inventor, who happened to be a survivor of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
When Geoff Roesch heard about how well his Starshine Watchdog worked, he packed up and went to Newtown to pass them out to the Sandy Hook survivors.
Other young students have also pitched in to help the Sandy Hook survivors. Fourth graders at New Mountain Hill Elementary in Georgia have been working since December on ways to help, and decided to make and sell t-shirts to raise money for the Newtown victims.
They have been working since December on ways to help, and they decided to make shirts and raise money to send to the school. The class had a goal to sell 300 shirts and send the proceeds to a Sandy Hook fund, but they ended up selling 700 with no signs of stopping.
“I am extremely proud because any time 8-year-olds want to give up their recess to help others is amazing,” teacher Alison Hurst told WTVM. “I’m just so proud of them I just cannot express to you how wonderful they have been through this whole project.”
But experts say the recovery to Sandy Hook victims will be a long-term process, one that will require attention long after the public attention has faded from the massacre.