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A Month Of Promotion For Newtown’s Character Tree

During the month of May, the Newtown Prevention Council in collaboration with the Newtown Police Department, and municipal government is set to promote Newtown’s Character Tree.

The Character Tree reflects Newtown’s core character attributes: caring, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, citizenship, and perseverance.

All town vehicles, including police cruisers, will proudly display the Character Tree sticker. First Selectman Pat Llodra joined Police Chief Michael Kehoe, Director of Newtown Health District Donna Culbert, Co-Chair of the Newtown Prevention Council Judy Blanchard, Newtown Police Officers Aaron Bahamonde and Scott Smith, and Land Use Enforcement Officer Steve Maguire to formally roll out this effort.

On March 28 the Prevention Council hosted the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske, for its annual retreat, and Mr Kerlikowske posted the following on his blog after his visit: “A few years ago, the Newtown community came together to develop its ‘character tree.’ The basic elements or limbs of the character tree are caring, citizenship, trustworthiness, respect, and responsibility. These characteristics exemplify what has helped them come together in the wake of the devastation at Sandy Hook Elementary to gain strength and look for solutions. A key element of the character tree is caring — being empathetic, expressing compassion, kindness and forgiveness. The people of Newtown deserve our empathy. But they also deserve our respect for how they have gained strength as a community and for their perseverance and character.”

Additional Character Tree efforts include working with the Newtown Chamber of Commerce to have posters displayed in area businesses and working with the Board of Realtors to enhance information about Newtown to prospective homebuyers.

Character Trees are displayed in all classrooms and all gymnasiums in Newtown schools. School employees have been provided car magnets. In addition, the tree is displayed at the Police Department, the Newtown Municipal Center, Newtown Youth & Family Services, and St Rose of Lima School.

To learn more about the Newtown Prevention Council and Newtown’s Character Tree, visit www.newtownprevention.org or visit the Newtown Prevention Council Facebook page. E-mail newtownpreventioncouncil@gmail.com to enquire about receiving a Character Tree poster.

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