A memorial for the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Photograph: Robert F. Bukaty/AP
Emilie Parker, age six
Emilie loved visiting the craft store, and her family constantly found beads, bits of paper, colored cotton balls or anything else Emilie thought she could use to create art all over the house. Her family shared a photograph of her next to a canvas with a palette of paints, wearing an enormous t-shirt as an artists smock.
Emilie Parker Art Connection supports art programs. Alissa Parker, her mother, has written a book, An Unseen Angel, about a faith-filled, spiritual path to coping, healing and forgiving in the wake of tragedy. She is also one of the founders of Safe and Sound Schools.
Jack Pinto, age six
Jack had a huge smile and a love for mischief. He loved playing sports and, most of all, being with his big brother.
To honor his memory, his family has supported
Kids in the Game, an organization that provides funds for athletic programs for kids and schools that could not otherwise afford them.
Noah Pozner, age six
Noah loved playing deep imaginative games with his Legos and superhero toys. He went to school in a
Batman shirt and Spider-Man shoes, listening to Gangnam Style, one of Noahs favorite songs, on the way. His twin sister, Arielle, survived the shooting.
In the wake of the shooting, Noahs father, Lenny Pozner, founded the
Honr Network, a group that works to combat the conspiracy theorists who claim the Sandy Hook shooting is a hoax and that grieving family members are crisis actors. The Honr Network coordinates volunteers to monitor and take down hoaxer posts and videos. Working with tech companies like Google on this effort has been an uphill battle, one that has made Pozner himself the target of intense harassment. A Florida woman was sentenced to five months in prison earlier this year for making threats against him.
Caroline Previdi, age six
Caroline was joyful, a lover of art and dance. Before Christmas one year, she brought her piggy bank to her parents and asked to donate all of her savings to their church to make sure the every kid would have a present under their Christmas trees. At her funeral, some mourners wore pink,
her favorite color, to honor her, the New Haven Register reported.
Caroline Previdi Foundation provides support for kids without financial resources to engage in extracurricular activities.
Jessica Rekos, age six
As well as horseback riding, Jessica spent hours watching the Free Willy movies and taking notes on orcas, her
family wrote. Mom, I just want to be friends with an Orca, she once said.
Her family wrote, she was always planning, asking questions, and figuring out the details. They called her our little CEO.
Jessica Rekos Foundation supports horseback riding scholarships and research and internships on orca and whale conservation.
Avielle Richman, age six
Avielle had a spitfire personality, her family wrote. She was often barefoot. Asked what she wanted to be, she replied that she would like to be an artist … and a spy … and a fairy princess … and a writer. She loved to name things: the maple trees next to her house were Efford and Maeve.
Avielle Foundation supports neuroscience research aimed at understanding the brains chemistry, structure, and circuits that lead to violence and compassion, as well as community education and outreach about neuroscience research and its findings, and how to promote brain health.
Benjamin Wheeler, age six
Ben was full of urgent questions that he wanted answered at once. He demanded attention. He
loved lighthouses and dreamed of being an architect, a paleontologist and a lighthouse keeper all at once.
Bens Lighthouse, a community organization in Newtown, was founded to support Newtown youth over the long term as they dealt with the aftermath of the violence at Sandy Hook.
Allison N Wyatt, age six
Allison lined the walls of her home with rows of pictures she had drawn, and she loved drawing for people she cared about, from friends and relatives to her school bus driver. Her family wrote that they had found a final picture Allie had drawn for her first grade teacher, Victoria Soto, who was also killed in the shooting. It had a message: I love you, Love Allie.
Allison Wyatt Memorial Fund has donated to St Jude Childrens Research Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House Charities and International Child Art Foundation.
Rachel Davino, age 29
A behavioral specialist, Rachel had a clear focus on helping adults and children with autism, her family wrote, and she had just completed the requirements to become a board certified behavioral analyst. Her soon-to be-fiance Tony Cerritelli had just asked her family for permission to marry her, and they were planning to become engaged on Christmas Eve.
Rachel was working on a family collection of Italian recipes for a family cookbook, and she loved karate, photography, cooking and baking. At a celebration honoring her life, she was compared to The Giving Tree, a Shel Silverstein book about selflessness.
Her friends and family made plans to walk and raise money for Autism Speaks to honor her life.
Dawn Hochsprung, age 47
Elementary school principal Dawn Hochsprung. Photograph: Reuters
Sandy Hooks school principal was strong, confident, inspiring and compassionate, her family wrote. She balanced raising her two daughters with her own continuing education, always keeping in touch with her children as she moved from one meeting to another.
Dawn died as she lived: always in control, handling whatever came her way, her family wrote.
Erica Lafferty, one of her daughters,
spoke about her mother at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 in support of Hillary Clinton and her commitment to gun violence prevention. She is now a program manager at Everytown for Gun Safety, major a gun violence prevention advocacy group.
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
When the shooting happened, Anne Marie Murphy, a classroom aide, wrapped a child in her arms, protecting him. Both she and the child were killed.
Thank you for respecting our privacy, her family wrote.
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
Lauren Rousseau. Photograph: AP
Sensitive and focused, Lauren had worked multiple jobs, including as a substitute, on her way to getting a job as a teacher.
Her family set up two scholarships in her name to support future educators: The Lauren Rousseau Memorial Scholarship, Danbury High School Scholarship Fund, 43 Clapboard Ridge Rd, Danbury, CT 06811; and the Lauren Rousseau Memorial Scholarship/University of Bridgeport Graduate School of Education, 126 Park Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06604.
Members of her family traveled to Washington last week to press for tougher gun laws.
Mary Sherlach, age 56