Observing 9/11, 11 Years Later

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While most students within the district were not yet born when the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 occurred, they all took time during their day on Sept. 11, 2012 to honor the heroes of that day, as well as to spread messages of kindness.

At Clear Stream Avenue School, students in grades 4-6 participated in an assembly during which a video compiled by teacher Richard Mansfield was shown. The video highlighted the heroism of Sept. 11, as well as the aftermath of unity that embraced the nation. During the session with the older students, FDNY dispatcher Peter Dodge spoke to students, shared artifacts and offered words of encouragement. The assembly for first-, second- and third-grade students focused on overcoming difficult times and moving forward from tragedy. Students also read the book “On September 12,” written by first-grade students from Masterson Elementary School in Missouri. Finally, the school illuminated an American flag using tea lights as a symbol of unity, perseverance and hope.

Students at Forest Road School also embraced the positive messages of the day by celebrating an Act of Kindness Day. In the days leading up to the anniversary, students in grades K-3 were asked to identify and act upon random acts of kindness. In the higher-grade levels, students chose a meaningful and positive change they would like to initiate within the school community, their neighborhood or the world. Many students also wrote poems about Sept. 11 and the day’s heroes. The poems were then pieced together to form beautiful class quilts. On the morning of the anniversary, Forest Road students displayed their patriotic colors by wearing red, white and blue to school and observed a poignant moment of silence.

At Shaw Avenue School, students created “Walls of Good Deeds” throughout the building. They composed statements beginning with “I will…,” finishing each thought with five things they will do for family members, friends or their school community to make a positive difference. One student declared, “I will help my little brother with homework,” while another wrote, “I will wash the dishes for my mom.” Students in grades 4-6 also viewed the video created by Clear Stream Avenue teacher Richard Mansfield.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stirling was very proud of the students and staff who took the time to be reflective and engaged in the teaching of the events of Sept. 11. Dr. Stirling, along with board members Ms. Pean and Ms. Antonelli, represented the district at the unveiling of the Sept. 11th Monument at the Village of Valley of Stream ‘s Commemorative Ceremony. Community members are encouraged to view the monument which is located in A.J. Hendrickson Park, near the intersection of Merrick Road and North Franklin Avenue in Valley Stream.