On Feb. , “Ruth the turtle” took the first step and then traveled more than 1,300 miles in the hope of bringing much-needed cheer and peace to the survivors of Sandy Hook Elementary, the site of a devastating school shooting in Connecticut in December that left 20 children and six adults dead. Despite a blizzard in the Northeast and a circuitous route to avoid the storm, she arrived just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Through news reports and some research, it was discovered that the students at Sandy Hook Elementary had a real pet turtle named Shelly, a red slider turtle. Shelly was being moved to his new home in the library of the Chalk Hill School in Monroe, Conn., where students of Sandy Hook have been attending classes since the shooting.
“Ruth the turtle” is among several art projects on display in a vacant store in the heart of Newtown. The donated space is a temporary venue for the new HealingNewtown Arts Space. Hundreds of people gathered on Valentine’s Day for the opening of the art gallery and performance-art venue. Ruth the turtle is one of many items received by Newtown in an outpouring of support nationally and worldwide. Dietch, the Mayor, said that when classes resumed for Newtown’s children in their new school, the kids were most concerned about their pet turtle, Shelly.