Teddy Bear Project for Covenant Christian School

Teddy Bear Project for Covenant Christian School

Andrea Byerly
Monday, April 10, 2023 12:00 AM
Events, Community, Press Releases, Academics, All


CLEVELAND, TN – Cleveland State Community College Early Childhood Education Family Dynamics class at the McMinn Center for Higher Education in Athens wanted to do something to support the children of Covenant Christian School in Nashville, where a shooter claimed three children’s and three adults’ lives in March.  

Winona Christiansen, Cleveland State Early Childhood Education Instructor, said, “In our Family Dynamics class, students learn how to become effective partners alongside families and the community through early childhood education and advocacy. A portion of this class deals with current events and how they affect children, families, teachers,and the community.”

After brainstorming several ideas, the class decided to make homemade teddy bears. Taylor Conti, a student who sews small teddy bears in her free time, volunteered to make 50 teddy bears. Conti cut out and sewed the teddy bears then classmates met on their own time to stuff and finish the bears with an orange ribbon, the color representing gun violence against children. A note was attached to each bear with the message that stated, “We care about you, and you are not alone.” The teddy bears were sent to Nashville and will go to the victims’ families and the classroom of students who lost fellow students.

Christiansen said, “The hearts of the students can be felt throughout this whole project. I couldn’t be more proud and humbled by their collaboration and compassion. They worked together, listened to each other, and came together during their free time to complete this. They give me hope for the next generation of students knowing they will be in the early childhood classroom.”

Dr. Ryan Thompson, Cleveland State Dean of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, said, "Like others across our state and nation, I am horrified by the senseless tragedy at Covenant School in Nashville. But I am also inspired by the outreach of support for the students and families affected, including a group of our own students who are preparing to become teachers themselves. I am so proud of this group who want to demonstrate their care and concern for children they've never met by creating teddy bears for them. I hope the students in Nashville know that there is a whole community of people anxious to help and support them in their time of need."



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