MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — Students at Middletown Area Middle School are showing support for one of their teachers who is from Ukraine.
“All the feelings just kinda spun because any time now that I see yellow and blue the feelings and the emotions just roll,” English Language Development Educator Anastasia Cerritelli said.
Cerritelli was born in Ukraine. She says the current war is heartbreaking, and these young students feel the same way.
“The things that are happening in Ukraine are just terrible, and it’s scary to think ‘Oh one day it could just be a normal day and the next day, where’s my family, where is everyone that I love?'” said student Elizabeth Korsak.
Students with Middletown Area Middle school made 1,000 paper cranes with one wish: to help people who are living in Ukraine. This act of compassion came as a surprise to Cerritelli, who has many loved ones in Ukraine.
“All of my aunts and uncles, my cousins are there, and because of the mandate for men to stay, they were not able to flee,” Cerritelli said.
One-by-one students placed several gifts in her hands, showing that she is Ukraine strong.
“I felt really happy. I wanted to cry,” sixth-grader Kelten McDermott said.
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“It really makes me feel like I’m helping someone, and I’m doing something good. It’s a little step to greatness,” Korsak said.
“I had this conversation with my principal where some days I just can’t, some days I feel so broken, I feel so helpless for knowing what my family goes through, and I’m so fortunate, I’m so fortunate to have a life here,” Cerritelli said.
“It’s totally worth it, at the end it’s just so worth it to see how happy she is and how much she loves it,” McDermott said.