HARMONY (KDKA) — It’s been eight months since 20 children and 6 staff members were killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
A teacher from Sandy Hook visited the Seneca Valley School District today to talk about her journey, her mission and offer a message of love to teachers and staff.
Former Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Kaitlin Roig is on a mission.
“There are days when our job as a teacher causes us to go far beyond our call of duty,” said Roig.
When Roig first heard the gunshots on that horrific day in December she moved her students into a bathroom and locked the door, saving their lives.
“The part that got me is she told every child she loved them,” said Dr. Tracy Vitale, the superintendent of the Seneca Valley School District. “We need every teacher to hear what she did that day.”
In the aftermath of the horror that day, Roig and others were overwhelmed by kindness through donations and gifts from around the world.
It is that kindness that inspired her to launch the non-profit group, Classes4Classes.
It’s designed to teach every child in the nation to have a genuine interest in the well-being of others by being kind, caring and empathetic.
“So, not just reading a book and talking about the themes in that book, but actually giving them hands-on experience with those things by engaging in a project where they are being all those things,” said Roig.
“I think she has a compelling story about moving on after that day and about making something good out of so much evil,” said Dr. Vitale.
“You know, I wake up every morning and I still have to remind myself, yes this happened, yes those angels are gone, and yes, I have to live my life in a way to honor them,” Roig said.
Roig continues to deal with the events of that life-changing day. She is taking a year off from teaching and has just gotten married.
She says these various speaking events and the Classes4Classes initiative is helping her to heal.