TOWNVILLE, SC (WSPA) - Dozens of deadly school shootings have occurred since Townville Elementary School in September of 2016, but the 17 lives lost in Parkland, Florida this month have prompted the Townville community to extend a hand of healing.
A dreamcatcher was gifted to the school exactly four weeks after shots rang out on the playground as a sign of healing and support. It wasn't just a stranger who brought it, but a stranger who knew all too well what this school district was feeling. This dreamcatcher was created and given to the students of Columbine High School in 1999 and has since been passed to schools who have experienced the ultimate loss. Townville was it's 5th stop in 2016 from Marysville, Washington in 2014, Sandy Hook in 2012, and Red Lake, Minnesota in 2005.
The school decides when they are ready to pass it on if another tragedy occurs, and it wasn't until the Valentine's Day Massacre in Florida that Townville was ready to deliver it to those students.
"It will be a very powerful experience for us to be able to go there and actually show them we are there with them and that's part of the dreamcatcher it represents that healing to know you are going to make it and we are here to help you with that journey," said Superintendent Joanne Avery of Anderson District 4.
The true meaning of the dreamcatcher is that it will catch the bad memories and let the good ones through, as Avery tells 7News it is a true sign of healing and hope.
But every time this symbol is passed on, it's done in person so advice can be passed on and support given from those who have experienced similar tragedies firsthand.
Avery and Townville's Principal Denise Fredericks will fly to Florida on March 16th for a presentation of the dream catcher along with members from Sandy Hook, Red Lake and Marysville.