Ad Spot

Sandy Hook responds to West Madison’s ‘ducky’ gesture

Cheryl Bailey helped West Madison students in sending rubber ducks to students at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Cheryl Bailey helped West Madison students in sending rubber ducks to students at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – In April, West Madison Elementary School students reached out to their peers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The Connecticut’s special resource officer has returned the favor.

Like well-wishers around the world, West Madison shipped 450 initialed rubber ducks to encourage students at their new “closed” building. “That’s when Officer Todd Keeping came on duty. His children attend Sandy Hook,” West Madison teacher and duck coordinator Cheryl Bailey said. “They’re tearing the old school down and (rebuilding) on the same property.”

In light of the Sandy Hook murders, West Madison’s older students “definitely knew what happened. We had mostly sixth-graders helping us sell ducks,” Bailey said. A second-grader set up a lemonade stand after school to earn money to buy ducks to send.

‘Officer Todd’ manages “The Ducks of Sandy Hook” Facebook page, his medium to communicate with Bailey. “He was overjoyed by our students’ generosity to pay 1$ and not expect anything in return,” she said.

As a thank-you, Officer Todd “ducked us,” Bailey said. Todd shipped a green-and-white duck to West Madison teachers. “They call it ‘ducking’ someone.” Students received assorted ducks, resembling ninjas, cheerleaders, soldiers and astronauts.

Todd was off duty on the day of the shooting but his two children were at the school. “He went to the school immediately. There was just chaos,” Bailey said. After taking his children to safety, Todd returned to help. “He wasn’t comfortable telling me any more.”

West Madison students initialed the bottom of each duck. (CONTRIBUTED)
West Madison students initialed the bottom of each duck. (CONTRIBUTED)

After the duck fundraiser, Principal Dr. Daphne Jah received email from Dan Krauss, parent of a Sandy Hook second-grader. “It has been absolutely amazing what small little ducks can do,” Krauss wrote. “The ducks have gotten kids on the bus, to sleep in their own bed and through difficult days.”

“I must say this small idea blossomed into the best service project I’ve ever organized since I began teaching. I personally feel connected to Sandy Hook now through my friendship with Officer Todd,” Bailey said. “I hope someday we get to meet.”

Madison

Blood and platelet donations needed ahead of hectic holiday weeks

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Theatre claims awards at state Trumbauer festival

Madison

City council green-lights $11 million bid to turn old Three Springs complex into community center

Madison

Young artists can submit artwork that will be launched into space

Events

Toyota Field to host Artemis I splashdown party on Sunday

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones to represent Alabama at Southeastern Theatre Conference

Business

The State Of The Rocket City Trash Pandas 2022

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Rocket City Marathon 2022: New Format, New Course, New Day

James Clemens High School

Christmas Card Lane brightens downtown streets

Liberty Middle School

World War II, Korea veteran Walt Siffringer accepts Quilt of Valor

Bob Jones High School

beEntrepreneurial [beE] High School Idea Competition sets Dec. 7 deadline

Madison

School board approves bid to turn the old West Madison campus into PreK Center

Bob Jones High School

Greenpower racing builds STEM skills and confidence

Madison

Madison Animal Rescue Foundation in need of new foster homes

Madison

How to submit your child’s “Letter to Santa”

Events

Neighbors: Community theater groups in Decatur to stage ‘ELF: The Musical’

Events

Driving Nights for Galaxy of Lights begin today at Huntsville Botanical Garden

Events

Polar Express Christmas Tree Trail lighting and Wassail Fest being held Friday in downtown Madison

Polar Express Christmas Tree Trail lighting and Wassail Fest being held Friday in downtown Madison

Bob Jones High School

Former Patriot named assistant director of coaching at North Alabama SC

Former Patriot named assistant director of coaching at North Alabama SC

Digital Version

Check out the new issue of Madison Living Magazine

James Clemens High School

James Clemens medical and drama students, first responders simulate trauma scene

Madison

Curbside recycling recovery assistance throughout the weekend

Bob Jones High School

Scholarships at stake in American Legion oratorical contest

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast avers multi-disciplines feed theatre

x