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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

East High students’ lock-in hopes to raise funds and awareness for abduction and sexual abuse

 On Saturday, April 22, dozens of East High students enrolled in the school’s “Survivor Literature” class will gather at the high school for an 18-hour lock-in.

The event, “A Stolen Night: 18 Hours for 18 Years”, is designed to raise funds and awareness for victims of abduction and sexual abuse.

Students have created the lock-in event to raise the funds, as well as to raise awareness for these important topics, as approximately 170 students and faculty members will confine themselves to the East Aurora High School Field House for the evening.

Survivor Literature is a class at East Aurora High School where students study literature from major historical events where survival was at a premium.

This year the class has focused on the topic of abduction and sexual abuse, and has read the book, “A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard, in which she details her abduction at the age of 11 and her 18 years in captivity.

The participants will take part in a number of symbolically relevant activities. The purpose is to not only raise money and awareness, but also to emulate, in a very small way, all that Jaycee was forced to sacrifice.

Author Jaycee Dugard has committed to visiting East Aurora High School in April, and students are raising funds for her April 25th visit.

Service projects inspired by nonfiction novels have become a tradition since Shane Gillespie started the “Survivor Literature” course nine years ago. The senior-level class asks students to examine nonfiction novels about people who have overcome tremendous hardship.

At the beginning the year, students nominate a non-fiction book that could be a launching point for a voluntary, student-led independent study and service project.

In past years, Survivor Literature students have walked 16 miles to raise funds for mental illness and suicide prevention, traveled to Louisiana to help victims of Hurricane Katrina; raised money to bring a Holocaust survivor to speak; heard from a blind man who survived the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; and slept on the football field overnight to better understand homelessness.

Students have set up a Go Fund Me page at

For more information, contact Mr. Shane Gillespie at


Posted on 2/22/2017
Last updated by Silvana Lecaros on 2/28/2017 3:25 PM

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