TOWNVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Signs of the tragedy remain 5 weeks later in the small Upstate town. Townville Elementary continues on their path of healing after the deadly school shooting that shattered their quiet community.
The Anderson County School District 4 Superintendent says the school and the district are still taking their grief one day at a time, but they remain “Townville Strong”.
“This isn’t something that goes away,” Dr. Joanne Avery said. “It is a part of who we are now. Our effort is really to think about how we can become stronger. and not let that shooting define us.”
Outside of Townville Elementary, a large memorial still stands as a reminder of their strength. Inside, students and staff are leaning on each other to move on. Counselors remain on campus for anyone who needs it and they’re working on activities for the students to continue the healing process, especially during the upcoming winter break.
“We’ve received all kinds of expressions of love to help with the healing process and it has made a difference,” Dr. Avery added. “Our teachers and students are amazing.
Teaching is happening. Learning is happening and you know, our students are doing well.”
Dr. Avery says other student victims and teacher, Mrs. Hollingsworth, are now all back in class and doing well.
“She missed her students and her students missed her and she continues to be so courageous,” she explained.
The Superintendent says she’s proud of them and all of the staff and students that were there on that tragic day in September. She believes their quick actions saved many lives.
She said, “during that horrible incident, they all did what they needed to do and put fear aside and made it happen.”
Now, Townville Elementary is working on a project to build a new superhero playground for all of the students and they want to turn the existing playground into a tranquil space for healing.
They want it to be a place that shows their strength, resilience and to honor their loss, Jacob Hall.
“We are still grieving. We miss Jacob. You know, just processing everything that’s taking place and working through the recovery process, It is a long road but one day at a time,” she said. “This is an effort to get the community involved and folks that want to help and to provide a wonderful experience for our students outside to run and play and jump and swing.”
The school is trying to raise enough money for the project at their website http://www.townvillestrong.com. They’ve already raised thousands of dollars but the Superintendent says they need much more to get the project moving. To help, you can donate by going to their website HERE.