The University of Connecticut's Sandy Hook Memorial Scholarship Fund got a boost Thursday when the Connecticut Education Association announced plans to raise at least $1 million for the fund and also to create a permanent monument to those who died in the Newtown shooting.
The UConn scholarship fund has already raised nearly $700,000 from more than 4,000 people to help support college costs for siblings and dependents of those killed in the massacre on December 14, as well as for students now enrolled in the elementary school who are later admitted to UConn. Twenty children and six teachers and staff members were killed in the attack
CEA President Sheila Cohen said in a statement, "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."
The education association, which represents 43,000 teachers in the state, has created a Sandy Hook Memorial and Scholarship Fund through its non-profit arm, The Connecticut Education Foundation.
UConn President Susan Herbst said, "We are deeply moved by the CEA's support of the scholarship fund. So many people have been searching for ways to help in the wake of this horrible tragedy, and this effort speaks volumes about CEA's concern and commitment."
Besides contributing to the UConn Scholarship Fund, the CEA has commissioned Connecticut sculptor Marilyn Parkinson Thrall to create a bronze sculpture to memorialize "the heroism and sacrifice" that occurred at the school, the union said in a statement.
The statement said the CEA will unveil the sculpture to mark the first anniversary of the shooting.
"The monument will remember the happy memories and the innocent lives of the children lost and the teachers committed to educating them." Cohen said. "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."
Teachers as well as the general public can make donations at http://www.cea.org or at http://www.foundation.uconn.edu/sandyhook.Copyright © 2015, CT Now