On the first day students returned to school after the fire break, American Sign Language teacher Tina Carlisle started a project with her students creating “ILY” cards and fleece tie blankets to send to victims of the fire and the families of those lost in the Borderline tragedy.
“The goal [of the project] was to bridge the students returning to school with academics while acknowledging the Borderline tragedy and the fires,” said Carlisle. “I wanted the students to have a positive way to process their grief and losses in a supportive environment.”
The cards went to “first responders, classmates who lost their homes, Malibu High School students and family members of the Borderline tragedy,” according to Carlisle.
“I believe this [project] provided the students an opportunity to come together in action while they supported one another in their shared experiences and promoted a healing environment,” said Carlisle. “The activity was used as a means of honoring the students’ loss, addressing their social [and] emotional health while giving those a means to transition back into academics, classroom life and routines again.”
All the supplies for the project were purchased by American Sign Language Club, and all ASL students contributed to the project.
“I thought it was a really nice way to just help the victims,” said ASL student Cordelia Wild ‘20. “I think it evoked feelings about what happened, but then it also probably helped some people express themselves in a nice way and made them feel good that they were doing something to help people.”
Not only did this project allow students to feel like they were helping their community, but it also served as a bonding experience for the class.
“It just [brought] morale up,” said ASL student Joy Collins ‘21. “I decided to participate because I wanted to do something to help. Usually people just send prayers and things, and that’s good too, but sending something that’s actual and physical to the person helps them.”