Within Our Reach: A Gathering Of Song & Spoken Word; Young Adult Planning Session May 17

On Saturday, June 8, the eve of National Children’s Day, youth of Newtown will reach back to children around the world with a message of hope and love as Newtown Youth Voices is joined by Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary), poet Martin Espada, and a host of special guests for “Within Our Reach,” a live-streaming online event to be held at Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West Street.

The special event will begin at 9 pm and continue until just past midnight, into the first moments of Sunday, June 9 — National Children’s Day. The program will emphasize all the simple ways in which transformative change is possible right now in every town and city.

An evening of song and spoken words, “Within Our Reach” will include readings from some of the extraordinary letters received in Newtown from children afar. Renowned thinkers, artists, leaders, and people from all walks of life will offer their perspective on National Children’s Day and the work that lies ahead towards fulfilling the Sandy Hook Promise.

In all of this, “Within Our Reach” seeks to inspire reengagement of communities, promote open-minded conversation and respectful civic debate, highlight bridges of agreement, and transmit a powerful message of hope and commitment.

At midnight, in the very first moments of National Children’s Day, the church bells at Trinity, St Rose, and Newtown Congregational churches will toll while “Within Our Reach” concludes with the singing of “If I Had A Hammer.” The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco are also among a growing number of places of worship that will be ringing in support that day.

All are invited to attend “Within Our Reach.” Doors at will open at 8:30 for the families, first responders, and any teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary School who choose the attend. After 8:45 seating will be opened to all others who wish to attend, but capacity is limited and entry and seating cannot be guaranteed.

For more information and for where to find the program’s live stream, visit www.WithinOurReach.us.


Youth Invited For Planning Session

On Friday, May 17, Newtown Youth Voices will host an open meeting for any Newtown youth who would like to help coordinate online promotion of “Within Our Reach.” The work session will be at HealingNewtown Arts Space, 5 Queen Street, from 7:30 to 10 pm.

All ages are welcome. Those under grade 5 must have a parent present at all times. High school students can count the time toward earning community service hours.

All are invited to bring whatever laptop or digital device they might find helpful, but this is not required. Artwork created by students of any age in support of this event is most welcome and might be photographed for upload to the Internet as part of this promotion. New creative ideas for online promotion are welcome. All content must be approved by Newtown Youth Voices.

Students or parents may bring food but only in its original unopened store-bought containers. Organizers are not providing food.

Music and singing will also be a part of the evening. Send e-mail to WithinRReach@gmail.com for additional information. 

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