Students honor Tree of Life and Holocaust victims with art installation
On Dec. 7, a group of eighth-grade students at Harrison Middle School in Baldwin-Whitehall School District unveiled a tribute to the victims of the Tree of Life shooting as well as the international Butterfly Project honoring children who were lost in the Holocaust. The students have created a large art installation, which was spearheaded by English language arts teacher Daniel Shaner in collaboration with others. According to a district press release, the installation contains more than two hundred paper butterflies created by the eighth-graders and placed in the shape of a large tree. On top of the paper butterflies are 140 ceramic butterflies that the students painted. Eleven of those butterflies are shown flying off of the tree, in recognition of the eleven lives that were lost in the shooting. The tree itself was designed by art teacher Ms. Rogiero and the frame was built by industrial arts teacher Mr. London. During the unveiling ceremony, the eighth-grade chorus performed two songs: a choral piece in English with individual soloists singing in Hebrew, and a solo piece sung completely in Hebrew by an eighth-grade student. Music teacher Ms. Hawk prepared her chorus members for the event.