JEFFERSON CITY - Outside Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Jefferson City, the winter season's first storm dusts the decorations hinting that the holidays are near. But inside, a different storm was brewing.
"We're going to make snowflakes for Sandy Hook like our teacher said we're going to make a blizzard so we can decorate the new school," said one of the sixth grade students.
The middle school students spent Thursday cutting out more than 2,000 paper snowflakes to send to help decorate the halls of the school where Sandy Hook elementary students will attend after their break. This project started after sixth grade teacher Jeni DeFeo heard about the National Parent Teacher Association's call for paper snowflakes.
So, a blizzard of paper quickly descended upon DeFeo's classroom, all for those more than 1,000 miles away.
"Our kids came in on Monday asking what can we do to help," DeFeo said. "I have this huge box, I wonder if we can fill this box and we had that filled by first block."
It's a group of people who can relate all to well to that horrific Friday morning. For DeFeo, that morning she was home sick with her little girl, too far she said from her other children.
"I texted the vice principal and I said take care of my babies," DeFeo said.
She said she will protect these babies of hers in the classroom no matter what.
"It's never a question, you do what you have to do for this job... I'm going to batting practice for you," she said. "Educators don't get into this field for a pay check, it's because we love kids. We fall in love with these kids."
And these kids want those kids from Sandy Hook to know, they send their love, their prayers and their artwork.
"I hope it brings them happiness and joy to remember those kids who died that day," sixth grader Hope Whittenberger said.
The teachers planned to send off the boxes of snowflakes Thursday afternoon. Once they arrive in Newtown, volunteers will use the paper creations to help decorate the school.