Minford Middle goes blue

Students come together to form the “hope” butterfly symbol.

Zoe Doll presenting her empty chair to Ms. Erica Thompson.

On Thursday, November 16, Minford Middle school went blue in honor of Childhood Grief Awareness Day.

Teachers, students, and visitors alike dressed in blue to show their support for spreading awareness for a cause that is not often discussed. An assembly was held in the school’s gymnasium to inform students on grief awareness, and to explain the options for getting help and finding your inner voice.

Minford Middle School staff, alongside members from Heartland Hospice, teamed up to let the students know there are people willing to listen and that can help students experiencing grief, of any form.

Heather Malott of Heartland Hospice shared with students a story about coping with change through a fall themed narrative in which students participated. Sabrina Shonkwiler, and her daughter Zoe Doll, talked to students about personal experiences with grief and how, over time, it is possible to move past it.

Doll, Minford High School’s 2017 Miss Minford, presented an empty “grief” chair that she painted for a spring art project to guidance counselor Ms. Erica Thompson. The chair was presented to Thompson in hopes of it being utilized by children suffering from grief.

“I painted the chair blue with butterflies because of it being the color and symbol of children’s grief awareness. The purpose of the chair is for a child to engage in a conversation with a loved one. You may have words that you can’t express to an actual person, but with this chair you can express feelings and imagine the loved one you have lost in the chair,” said Doll. “I am donating this empty chair to our guidance office in hopes our students can engage and have a voice.”

To conclude the assembly, all those in blue covered the gym floor and formed an enormous butterfly, to recreate a real life ‘Hope’ the butterfly and logo for Children’s Grief Awareness. High School Student, Dutch Byrd operated a drone device in the gym and used it to take a picture of the formed shape.

“What an exciting opportunity it’s been to partner with Minford schools and the local community to help teach students about grief, and be able to offer resources to those in need of support” said Deidre Rowland, Senior Account Liaison for Heartland Hospice.

The assembly also announced an upcoming camp opportunity for students who find themselves experiencing grief, while providing students with valuable information on other resources to soothe the grieving process.

“This is a great opportunity for our school to show our support, because we all grieve, and we all grieve differently. We’re letting them know that it’s okay and to teach them how to grieve better” said Shonkwiler.

Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932