Nazareth Area School District students -- most of whom were not yet in school and some of whom had not yet been born by Sept. 11, 2001 -- will learn about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the aftermath through a variety of programs at various grade levels today.
At Shafer Elementary School, students will take a hands-on approach to commemorating the terror attacks that occurred years before they were born.
Shafer students, from kindergarten through third grade, will create a U.S. Peace Chain, according to principal William Mudlock.
Students will be given a 1x11-inch strip of paper, on which they will draw a picture or write a patriotic message or share a story of what 9/11 means to them, Mudlock said. The papers will be folded and stapled into a chain link, he added. Chain links from Shafer's 567 students and staff will then be connected and the chain will hang throughout the school.
Also, Shafer's morning news show featured a video recording of Lauran McCrone, the school's reading specialist, reading the 9/11-themed story “Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey," written by Maria Kalman.
The story is “developmentally appropriate and sensitive of the subject matter for grades K trough three,” Mudlock noted. Teachers will be able to turn the message from the story into “a teachable moment in their classrooms,” he added.
Over at the Nazareth Area Intermediate School, according to technology teacher Harriett Saviello, students in 4th, 5th and 6th grades presented a news show Friday morning. The show explained what occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, and consisted of "a developmentally appropriate history of, and response to, the attacks... "
Saviello added that each class would participate in a follow-up activity where they completed a project detailing what freedom means to them.
"These will be displayed in the front lobby of the building to honor and remember this special time," Saviello said in an e-mail to Patch.
Nazareth Area Middle School presented a special edition of the school's news show, “Eagle Vision,” that focused on the rebuilding and growth that have taken place in the 10 years since the 9/11 attacks, according to principal Bob Kern.
“Of course there will be a review of the past as most of our students were 2 to 4 years old when [the terrorist attacks] occurred,” Kern said in an e-mail to Patch.
Students and staff at Nazareth Area High School will view a student-produced video commemorating the events of 9/11, according to principal Alan Davis.
Also, teachers “have been encouraged to consider incorporating teachable moments regarding 9/11 into their lessons for Friday,” Davis added.
District Superintendent Victor Lesky issued the following written statement:
“As Superintendent of Schools I firmly believe that the events of September 11, 2001 must not be forgotten. The message the United States of America learned on that infamous day, the sacrifice made by those individuals who lost their lives inside the Twin Towers, the impact on the families who lost their loved ones, and the heroic efforts made by first responders who risked their own safety in an effort to save their fellow Americans must not be lost. The students in the current senior class of 2012 were in second grade on 9-11-01. It is the responsibility of the public school system to keep this message alive, to educate our youth to ensure this message is passed on to future generations. Hopefully keeping the events of 09-11-01 alive in the minds and hearts of our children will diminish the possibility of a re-occurrence of such a terrible event.”