Dina Barnum doesn't have a child at STEM School Highlands Ranch, but like many people in the community, she feels for the parents who do.
To help STEM families transition back to school following the May 7 shooting, Barnum organized an event this Saturday, July 27, from 9 a.m. to noon at Mountainview Christian Church, 40 E. Highlands Ranch Pkwy.
Community members are invited to help decorate 1,000 wooden stars, which will be hung outside of and throughout STEM prior to its doors opening Aug. 7.
“I thought that would be perfect for this community, to be able to walk through their doors the first day and see those stars as physical reminders that the community cares about them, that they are loved and that they are not forgotten,” Barnum said.
She's working with Stars of HOPE, a disaster response and community arts program started by the New York Says Thank You Foundation. The organization provides boxes of one-foot wooden stars, along with materials to decorate the stars with messages of encouragement.
To date, more than 100,000 volunteers worldwide have created Stars of HOPE in over 240 communities and 26 countries, according to the organization.
Barnum coordinated with STEM's parent teacher organization in organizing the July 27 event. Members of the PTO will be on site collecting donations for a fund for mental health resources for the k-12 school.
Barnum hopes to start a tradition.
“The idea is, the organization would love to come back every year to help the people work their way through another anniversary,” she said.
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