Led by students, the New Canaan Country School community engaged in a multitude of grassroots activities in an ongoing display of support for the people of Ukraine during the past few weeks. Lower School students Kai and Keilani Gokgol-Kline of Norwalk and Ben Kelsey of Darien have been particularly proactive in rallying classmates to be aware of the impact the Russian aggression has had on Ukrainian children.
“I just want everyone to understand that this is happening to families and children just like us,” said fourth grader Kai whose mother, Tatyana Vesselovskaya, is Ukrainian. “Each of us can and should do something to let them know that they are not alone. We care about them and should help them.”
In addition to raising awareness, the three students have been busy raising money. They make and sell thread bracelets and decorative candles in Ukraine's national colors through their fundraiser Light of Hope. Proceeds, which have already exceeded three thousand dollars, go to relief providers such as Save Ukraine (www.saveukraineus.org), a nonprofit organization that evacuates vulnerable Ukrainian children, their families and the elderly from the most dangerous combat zones and provides humanitarian aid across the war torn country. Made aware of the students’ efforts, Head of Save Ukraine Foundation Mykola Kuleba posted a message of gratitude on social media next to a photo of the trio.
Parents too joined in, gathering May 17 for Shop for Ukraine, an evening event that showcased NCCS family-owned and local brands. A percentage of all sales have gone to Save Ukraine. Vendors included: NicoBlu, The Coast Brand, Tata Harper, Nyla Star by Leslie Kumar, Wear For Good Clothing, Harper Lawrence, Sail to Sable, DharBazaar, Louis Sherry chocolate and Faherty Brand. In addition, the Halynski and Ormand families sold hand-painted seashell necklaces while Caryn Antonini ‘87, Tatyana Vesselovskaya, Kristy Chattaway and Katherine Lantuch-Rizzo facilitated the evening’s logistics.
Country School administrators agreed to hold a special blue and yellow dress day, May 17 and many teachers chose to offer age-appropriate classroom reflections or activities such as 2-Newport who wrote poems about peace.
For additional information about how to support the efforts in Ukraine, please visit thePA Community Service Resource Board to learn about various grassroot initiatives with which our NCCS parents have been involved.
New Canaan Country School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin and are afforded all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies or any other school-administered programs.