Sandy Hook Empathy Programs

Skylar Hampton

Sandy Hook Empathy Programs

On December 14, 2012, 20-year- old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20

elementary school students from Sandy Hook Elementary School. In

addition to the students, Lanza also fatally shot 6 staff members. This

tragedy is the deadliest mass shooting in a school scenario in United States


Since this tragedy, community members of Sandy Hook, Connecticut

and surrounding areas have been working towards preventative methods to

avoid another incident like this one. Many believe that this massacre may

have been avoided if more had been done in schools to address social

isolation and mental health issues.

Nelba Marquez-Greene is the mother of a 6-year- old girl that was

killed in the school shooting. Marquez-Greene is a family therapist, and is

now working the Connecticut school systems to implement a curriculum to

focus of helping students with social isolation issues.

Marquez-Greene has started the Ana Grace Project, which is named

after her deceased daughter. This program is designed to work with

elementary schools in New Britain, Connecticut to bring awareness to

bullying and teach empathy. She is not the only parent involved in

introducing preventative curriculum to Connecticut schools.

Scarlett Lewis, whose son was also among the 20 children killed, was

involved in advocating for a law that would allow federal funding in schools

to be used for crisis-intervention training and mental-illness awareness


These mothers are just a couple of the many who are involved in

ensuring that no other parents will have to suffer like they did. These

concerned mother believe that programs like these could have saved the

lives of their children.

Following the massacre, law officials learned that Adam Lanza had

always suffered from social isolation and mental illness. Family and friends

reported that he spent extended amounts of time in isolation within his

home and suffered from psychiatric ailments that were left untreated.

The knowledge of this truly sparked the flame within local authorities

and parents involved in the incident. As of now, several programs have

already been put in place within schools. School officials report that these

programs have been helping with social interactions in the schools.

At this time, parents, teachers, and other school officials are still

brainstorming and trying to find ways to further improve these programs.

Their goal is simply to ensure that nothing like the Sandy Hook Massacre

happens ever again.