Six-year-old Avielle Richman had an infectious smile, long curly locks of hair, and loved to wear pink cowboy boots.
She was in first grade at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the day a troubled boy entered her school and began shooting. Twenty-six students died Dec. 14, including Avielle.
The memory of the little girl will be preserved and honored with a playground being constructed at Belmar Elementary School, as part of a project to install 26 playgrounds – one for each of the shooting victims -- throughout the areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy.
The Sandy Ground Project, a nonprofit group, began work on the site on Wednesday. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for Nov. 1. Avielle’s family is expected to attend the ceremony.
“It’s going to be a beautiful day when the family comes down,’’ said Lisa Hannah, school principal.
The Sandy Ground Project, founded by members of the New Jersey Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association and in partnership with Giordano Contracting LLC, is building playgrounds in Superstorm Sandy-affected areas in honor of those who died in the Newtown, Conn., shootings.
“We endeavor to create 26 living memorials to all children who have been victims of violence while creating safe, fun places for children to be children,” the group’s website says.
In Monmouth County, the project has installed playgrounds in Manasquan, Asbury Park, Union Beach and Sea Bright. In Ocean County, a playground has been installed in Mantoloking. Others are located in New York and Connecticut.