Johnston's Winsor Hill Elementary School walks for Ukraine


Few schools, if any, meet challenges like Winsor Hill Elementary School in Johnston.

Perhaps the well-maintained school’s slogan — “Winsor Hill Cares” — epitomizes that theory which includes the administration, faculty, staff and students of the always-active school that’s located at 100 Theresa St.

Take what transpired when students in Nicole Esteves’ fifth grade class expressed a heart-felt interest to help the war-ravaged country of Ukraine.

Almost as soon as the class brought its concerns to Principal Dr. Amy Burns, what many people described as a special act of human kindness — as well as the school’s creedo “Winsor Hill Cares” — the wheels of an extremely profitable program began turning into high gear.

Moreover, there was extra incentive from the famed Feinstein Foundation and its founder Alan Shawn Feinstein that was seeking support for the Ukraine in hopes of rallying leadership schools to come together in support of the Ukraine.

“Dr. Burns jumped at the idea,” was the word all over Winsor Hill. “She loved the idea for the opportunity to make a difference for people of all ages in the Ukraine.”

Enter Susan Parillo, Winsor Hill’s health/physical education director, who along with the school’s iconic food cupboard coordinator/teacher Dina Needham thought a Walk for Ukraine would be ideal.

Thus, Winsor Hill Art Teacher Donna Pringle had students make sunflowers that adorned the school prior to the walk and on display by everyone, dressed in all types of garb that resulted in what Parillo called “a sea of yellow and blue all in and around our school” and during the late afternoon walk.

At the outset of the unique campaign, Amanda Veitch — who serves as tireless president of Winsor Hill’s PTO — helped distribute what she called “permission slips” from the Feinstein Foundation that allowed students to solicit and collect donations for the famed foundation that will directly benefit the Ukraine Red Cross.

As equally impressive is the philanthropic foundation, that’s featured in many schools throughout the state, issued a challenge that would match Winsor Hill’s donation up to $1,000 in form of a grant to the Johnston elementary school.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to for our school community and it allows our students to do some good for an important cause,” a message on the collection sheet read. “Please help the cause by filling in the pledge sheet with donations from your family, friends … relative and even neighbors.”

The event turned into what many people emphasized “was yet another special success story as well as an excellent example of Winsor Hill (School) Cares!”

Parillo, who has helped coordinate countless events at Winsor Hill, announced last week that the Walk for Ukraine raised $1,350 and thus resulted in a $1,000 Feinstein Grant that will benefit the entire community of the award-winning Johnston elementary school.


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