On this 22nd anniversary, many of us will pause today to remember the 2,977 who perished in the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. While Teachers may acknowledge this day in an age-appropriate way with older students, families of younger students may choose to share the meaning of this day with their children at home. Springmont School Counselor Ann Van Buskirk notes that when talking with young children about tragic events, it is always good to focus on the helpers - brave EMTs, firefighters, doctors, and rescuers. Here are some resources for families:
- Talking to Children About Terrorism from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
- 9/11 Anniversary Teaching Guide lessons designed for educators from the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
- There's a Big Beautiful World Out There by Nancy Carlson. This book, written in response to September 11, doesn't mention September 11 but describes many typical fears children experience. It's a good book for opening up a conversation with children about things they may be afraid of. The message is that although we all have fears, we mustn't hide under the covers because "there's a big beautiful world out there" we don't want to miss.
- The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein. This book tells the story of Philippe Petit, the aerialist who walked between the Twin Towers on a tightrope. It ends by saying that the Twin Towers are no more.
- Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman. This book tells the exciting story of how a New York City fireboat, originally slated to be retired and scrapped, plays a crucial role in putting out fires after the September 11 disaster.