Letters to North Park

By Janet Curiel |Staff Writer|

Students Cassandra Butcher, Asia Pham and Connor Dickson walked with arms full, headed toward North Park Elementary April 28.

From left: Cassandra Butcher, Asia Pham, and Connor Dickson walk with hands full of community gifts and letters to North Park Elementary

The students came as representatives of the Pan-African Student Success Center, Adult Re-Entry Center and Associated Students Incorporated (ASI), to deliver a variety of gifts for the students, faculty, and staff who are still recovering from the tragedy that struck April 10.

After CSUSB was put on lockdown and hearing about the incident that was going on, Butcher didn’t hesitate to take action.

“I was just sitting at my desk … what can I do? Oh, I can write them a letter, and then I was like oh wait, we could write everyone a letter,” said Butcher.

Letters poured in from students, faculty, and staff, as well as from the local community, middle schools, and even our PDC Campus.

That’s when Butcher reached out to Asia Pham from the Adult Re-entry Center who does “Love Letter Mondays,” a weekly campaign where students write notes and messages of encouragement to one another.

Shannon Stratton, the senior programming associate for community engagement and outreach for ASI, connected Butcher to the ASI programming team to collaborate and help promote the campaign.

Letters came in, not only from students and staff but from the community as well.

“One lady from the community donated 100 sanitizers, we received something like 30 letters from Arrowview Middle School, even the Palm Desert campus dropped off a notebook full of letters,” said Butcher

Asia Pham and Cassandra Butcher speak with staff at North Park Elementary

A mother picking up her child from school thanked the students for their kindness, stating that the books were very much needed.

The books from the class B-1, where the incident occurred, were rendered unusable.

We followed up with North Park Secretary Darlene Peters, and asked if they were in need of any additional books moving forward. She commented that they appreciate all the community support and that they are doing good.

According to Peters, North Park has also received a large donation from Frugal Frigate, A Children’s Book Store in Redlands.

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