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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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More Than Just a Mural: NHS Encourages Students to ‘Be Kind’

This+note+card+reads%2C+Be+more+patient.
Izzy DiNunzio
This note card reads, “Be more patient.”

WOODBURY — “Sandy Hook” still rings in the ear of nearly everyone in Connecticut.

Green note cards filled desks in advisories before the holiday break with words of kindness and appreciation. Yet, there is more behind the words that filled the green cards. Nonnewaug’s Melissa Hodges and the National Honor Society are the driving power behind it. 

For Nonnewaug’s Melissa Hodges, memories of the Sandy Hook tragedy hit close to home.

“I have lived in Sandy Hook for the last five and a half years,” Hodges said. “My son currently attends Sandy Hook Elementary School and my daughter graduated from Sandy Hook Elementary School last year.” 

Every year National Honor Society students put lots of time and effort into creating a project in memory of Sandy Hook.

“The National Honor Society initiates a school-wide project each year in memory of Sandy Hook, and this year’s group came up with the idea for the [Be King] mural,” said Lodice, the president of National Honor Society. “The honor society cut out all of the green slips of paper for students to write on, and helped create a plan for the advisory lesson as well as the layout for the mural itself. The advisory lesson served as a reminder of why the honor society pushes this project out every December: to remind students why this matters. We didn’t want students to just write something without meaning — we wanted each slip to have something from the heart. So the lesson served to inspire the students to write something impactful.”

The National Honor Society played a huge part in creating the mural along with Hodges. 

“Last year I wanted to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy,” Hodges said. “The Be Kind mural is now in every school in Newtown and a quote from Dawn Hochsprung [Mitchell Elementary School’s former principal and principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School that was killed during the shooting] is on every Newtown bus: ‘Be nice to each other. It’s all that really matters.’ I came up with the idea of running a kindness challenge. Mrs. [Pam] Sordi and I met to iron out the details. She came up with the idea of creating advisory-specific ornaments. The entire event was then organized and run by the National Honor Society. The idea for this year’s kindness challenge was completely member-generated. They came up with the idea of using acts of kindness to create a Be Kind mural here in our building.”

The memory of Sandy Hook is reflected in the kindness mural.

“The point of the kindness mural was to create an interactive display in honor of the Sandy Hook shooting, which was now over a decade ago, and to serve as a daily reminder for everyone passing by in the hallway to be kind and considerate in honor of the memory of Sandy Hook,” Lodice said. 

The mural symbolizes more than just the tragedy of Sandy Hook for Hodges. 

“The mural represents the good in every Nonnewaug Chief,” said Hodges.

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About the Contributor
Izzy DiNunzio, Editor-in-Chief
Izzy DiNunzio is the editor-in-chief for the Chief Advocate and a four-year journalism student. Izzy wants to go to Florida State next fall and major in criminology with a potential minor in journalism.
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