ST. LOUIS – As Central Visual and Performing Arts students get ready to start learning virtually on Monday, November 14, some of their teachers put on a fundraiser to help students heal.
“We are teachers at the school, and we felt like we had to do something,” teacher Maggie Schuh said.
Jinny Grace is one of hundreds who purchased a t-shirt from Schuh over the weekend. It honors the lives of 15-year-old Alexzandria Bell and Teacher Jean Kuzcka.
A former student killed them in last month’s school shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School.
“Too many things like this have been happening around the country, and anything we can do to help and not let this happen again is important,” Grace said.
Some CVPA teachers decided to sell the $15 t-shirts at The Foundry in Midtown over the weekend. They say every dollar raised will be used to help students as needed.
“This is going to fund projects and opportunities for kids to heal through the arts because we know that there is healing in the arts,” teacher Dana Fisher said.
Fisher feels grateful for the support and compassion from people who have stopped by their table.
“We know that the community is hurting as well, and we wanted to provide an outlet for the community to give back and support the efforts to help our students move forward,” Fisher said.
Students will begin virtual learning three weeks to the date of the deadly school shooting at CVPA. Administrators are still working out when and where students will resume in-person classes.
“The focus is going to be on making sure students are OK, providing them with those resources, and also focusing on academics,” Fisher said.
Fisher plans to help her students work through the social and emotional aspects as well.
“I have mostly seniors, so we will be focusing on college applications and essays and building back a routine that makes sense for our kids,” she said.
The shirts even have a quote from Kuzcka on the back. It reads, “Before you are anything else, you are a human and every human deserves respect.”
As her former colleagues put away the t-shirts and get back to their lesson plans, there are still ways you can donate to the CVPA Strong fund by writing a check to Central Visual and Performing Arts High School.