GRIEF councillors will be on hand at Linden Christian School today to help students cope with the loss of Ana Márquez-Greene, a former classmate killed in the mass shooting at a Connecticut school Friday.
Ana was in Grade 1 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where she died in the shootings in Newtown, Conn. She was the daughter of saxophonist and former University of Manitoba professor Jimmy Greene.
Ana's mother, Nelba Márquez-Greene, a licensed marriage and family therapist, worked for two years teaching at the University of Winnipeg.
Ana and her brother, Isaiah, in Grade 3, attended Linden Christian School before the move earlier this year.
The family lived in Winnipeg for a few years before moving to Connecticut, where Greene is originally from.
Linden Christian School principal Rob Charach said the school is bringing in counsellors from the Child Guidance Clinic of Winnipeg for students in need of support. The school also has pastors and on-staff counsellors that will be on hand as well, he said.
"I think, like everyone else, we're trying to process the tragic events that have unfolded Friday," he said.
"We're going to be very sensitive and respond in an age-appropriate manner to students that are in need."
Charach said he has spoken with some parents of students at the school, as some children have had a difficult time understanding what happened.
"There's obviously sadness and there's loss. I think everybody's in a process of grieving right now, and that looks differently in different people's lives," he said.
"As a community, we continue to uphold the Greene family in prayer. That is what they've requested. It's a process of dealing with this very tragic event."
Greene issued a statement on his Facebook page Saturday thanking people for their prayers and words of support.
"As we work through this nightmare, we're reminded how much we're loved and supported on this Earth and by our Father in heaven. As much as she's needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise. I love you, sweetie girl," he wrote.
A vigil was held at the Whyte Ridge Baptish Church on Friday evening, where the Greene family had previous attended services.