North Hills students participate in Snowflake project
Students of North Hills Senior High School, along with clients of First Niagara Bank on McKnight Road in Ross Township, took part in a recent national campaign to construct handmade paper snowflakes for students of Sandy Hook Elementary as they returned to classes after the recent mass shooting.
The snowflakes were supposed to provide a supportive welcome back and “winter wonderland” for the Sandy Hook students, according to Anthony Basilone, branch manager for the bank.
Sandy Hook students now are back at their school in Newtown, Conn., which for several weeks was considered a crime scene after 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 students, six staff members and then himself last month.
First Niagara's regional manager for western Pennsylvania, Tom Fontana, heard about the snowflake idea, which was announced in part by the Connecticut PTSA, Basilone said. So at a December meeting Fontana requested all the branches in Western Pennsylvania, which covers Washington County to Erie, take part.
“We had to help in some way,” Basilone said.
As clients at the First Niagara Bank on McKnight Road, North Hills Area High School teachers Sue and Brayton Batson heard about the bank's project and offered to get their students to help in the effort.
Approximately 200 students in the Batsons' chemistry, physics and astronomy classes and fellow teacher Peter Candreva's physics classes made snowflakes, said Brayton Batson, of Avalon.
He estimated they made approximately 300 paper snowflakes, with some students making more than one.
Basilone said his branch shipped three boxes of snowflakes last week to the Newtown Public School District.
“What we did is probably a miniscule help toward the kids — but anything to help them out,” said Basilone, of Ross Township.
The North Hills' teachers one requirement was that their students make “scientifically accurate” snowflakes, Brayton Batson said.
As part of their science courses, students often are assigned to make snowflakes to study their crystal structure. Because a real snowflake always has six points, Brayton Batson, 55, said students had to learn to fold a paper into thirds so they could cut a true model.
“It's a lot more challenging than people think,” Brayton Batson said. “It really is a taxing mental exercise to pull off the six points.”
Some students got pretty creative with it, including junior Abbey Majetich, who figured out how to cut the words dream, hope, love and peace into some of her snowflakes.
Her intent was to assure the Sandy Hook students that “they feel peaceful and loved and that we still care about them,” said Majetich, 17, of Ross Township.
Basilone, 29, said that Fontana also requested regional bank employees to pay $5 to wear jeans on a recent Friday. All the money they raised will go to the Newtown school district.
Natalie Beneviat is a freelancer writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Committee picks plan to close Shaler Area's Jeffery Primary School
- Longtime Ross building-code official fired by commissioners
- Restaurant takes action with cracked West View sidewalk
- Free fishing event for kids planned for North Park
- Ross 5K event, fun run to promote fitness for children
- Education seminar to raise awareness of domestic violence
- Opening winery dream come true for Hampton man
- North Star Kids show to benefit Flight 93 Memorial Chapel
- Proposal would allow Hampton residents to house honeybees for noncommercial use