A group of friends at Carmen Arace Middle School have created what they hope will be a lasting tribute to a slain Sandy Hook first-grader and a legacy that future generations of students will carry on.
Marcus Savage, 13, blows bubbles in Ana’s Garden after a dedication ceremony Tuesday evening in Bloomfield. Savage was one of the students that worked on the garden for several months and want to name “the most peaceful place in the school” after Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, one of the 26 victims of Sandy Hook. Steve Goode tells the story of five friends who created the sanctuary and to see more photosJose Capeles, (C) an eighth-grade student who was going through some tough times and had briefly run away from home was chosen by Ann Velazco, a climate specialist at the school, to supervise the renovation of the courtyard with the help of four friends:(L to R) Darion Alexander, Marcus Savage, Jovan Huff and DeAndree Jaunai.
The windows that look out on the courtyard are decorated with artists’ renderings of some two dozen birds that inhabit the region and might drop in to the feeders filled with corn, sunflower seeds and suet.
Jose Capeles Jr., 13, bows his head during a moment of silence for Ana Grace Marquez-Greene before family and friends ventured into the garden dedicated in her name Tuesday evening. Capeles was the driving force behind the garden where students are rewarded for good behavior with lunches in the courtyard, and it isn’t unusual to see teachers at the picnic table grading papers.
A gentle rain falls as Nayre Farrington looks to the white dove her son Everett, 11, painted on a picnic table in Ana’s Garden while her daughter Victoria, 14, holds an umbrella. The Farrington’s are relatives of Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, one of the 26 victims of Sandy Hook, and were on hand for the formal dedication of the garden. which was the brain-child of Jose Capeles Jr., 13, a student at the school. Jimmy Greene, Ana’s father, is Nayre’s brother and both attended the school as children. Victoria also painted on the the doves.