How are you and your students honoring the victims and heroes of the September 11th tragedy?
Our school chose to help out the Afghan children after President Bush challenged all the children of our nation. Our school has an annual teacher/student football game. Students can qualify for the student team by purchasing tickets for 25¢ each. The students had three days to collect money for tickets. I teach sixth grade and my homeroom donated $120 to the fund. Another class raised $219 just in their homeroom. I am very proud of my students for taking their hard-earned money and donating it to a good cause.
Michele Sodemann, South Milwaukee, WI, Sixth grade
During the week after the tragedy, we did several school-wide things: we held a red, white, and blue day; we held a ceremony around the flagpole with a moment of silence; and we collected pennies for the Red Cross. Now, our third grades are doing a unit on symbols of America and citizenship. We are learning the words to patriotic songs and creating "I'm Proud to Be an American" booklets.
C Rouse, Pantego, NC, Third grade
I teach at Palmetto Middle School in Miami, FL. Three of my students, along with the help of their families, crafted and sold American flag pins made from red, white, and blue beads. They also held a car wash and raised $10,000 that is being donated to the victims. Way to go: David Bloom, Michelle Cravez, Alyssa Rosen, and their families!
Anne Gordon, Miami, FL, Sixth and Seventh grade
My preschoolers traced their hands
on red construction paper and glued on white stripes. Then we glued blue
on the two fingers on the left side of the hand. And they cut little white
confetti and glued it to the blue. I then wrote our own message and they
were sent to New York. Also a parent donated a dollar for every preschooler,
and his company matched that amount. It was sent to the Fund for Afghan
children on behalf of our children.
Seventh and eighth grade art students
at St. Philip in Battle Creek, Michigan, have created an art installation,
"Silver Silence," honoring those who died in the tragedy. An
entire classroom has been collaboratively wrapped, sculpted, and collaged
in silver in the manner of Christo and Sandy Skoglund. Students are processing
their grief while learning about the role of contemporary art in making
sense of our everyday lives. The work is both sad and hopeful. The school
is hosting a closing celebration on 11/2, 3-5:30 p.m. Public invited:
(616) 963-4503 extension 600.
We are a small church preschool
in Charlotte, North Carolina, but we had two of our 4-year-olds directly
involved. One boy lost his uncle and one of the girls' uncles is a New
York fireman, who suffered injuries in the rescue efforts. We let the
children have playdough and the rice table, to let them vent any frustrations.
We also saw some rescue play in the block area. We also made and sent
cards to the fireman's uncle. Mostly there were a few fears about something
happening to the children and their families. We tried to use calming
techniques and lots of extra hugs.
My sixth-graders just viewed the
mentor video about Cesar Rivera, a New York City firefighter. Was he involved
in the September. 11 attack?
We have done a lot of talking
about the tragedy and the children became very involved in my running
a marathon in which I raised money. Our newest project was making holiday
cards for the servicemen, which we sent to the USO.
At our school, Epiphany, in San
Francisco, the kids decided to collect coins for a week and a half. It
was nice to see kids giving their own money to the drive instead of buying
soda and candy. The school ended up with a little over $2,000! We had
local firemen pick up the check and say some inspiring words to the students.
My own fourth grade class made cards to send to a fourth grade class located
close to ground zero. The cards were very touching.
From September 14 to October 5,
my fourth graders collected money for the American Red Cross. We decorated
various containers and placed them all over our school. We also collected
money at football games. Our last day to collect money was at Homecoming.
We raised $1,067!
Iteach first grade in Harlem,
New York. My class has adopted our local firehouse and we are constantly
sending over pictures for them on courage (the theme for the month), Halloween,
etc. I attach a Polaroid of the students with each picture. At the moment,
we are unable to go on field trips, so we have asked them to come to us
instead. We just want to let them know that they are always in our hearts
Nancy Lange, New York, NY, First grade
My first-grade students at St.
Stephen School are collecting school supplies for the schools in New York
that were affected by the tragedy on September 11. They are all very excited
to send the supplies to New York and to know that what they did helped
the children. The whole school has put up flags and we have had prayer
services for the victims. One of our students had an uncle in the World
Trade Center, so this tragedy has hit home. It has brought everyone in
our community together.
Joan Meyer, Carleton, MI, First grade
Since I teach first grade in a
Catholic school, I lead my class in a prayer for the families of the victims
and the workers at the World Trade Center site every morning. We also
made and sent thank-you cards to our local police precinct and fire house.
Many people here in Newark, New Jersey, went to New York on their own
time to help.
Diane Gonzalez, Newark, NJ, First grade
When my chiropractor informed
me that he was going to ground zero to offer his services, I thought it
would be a wonderful opportunity to quickly get some hand-delivered messages
to the firefighters. My students and I quickly made some thank-you letters
on fire-truck-shaped paper, along with some hearts decorated with American
flags, and other drawings. When I told some other teachers in my building,
I quickly had a pile of thank-yous from them as well. The next week he
told me that at the shelter set up for the doctors and firefighters, there
were tables of letters and the firefighters would take handfuls to read.
He said that they were deeply touched by the well wishes and thank-you
notes from the many children.
Pam Bopp, Clarksville, NY, First grade
Our sixth grade class held a "Change
Competition." Each week, we see which of the four classes can bring
in the most change and place it in the classroom jars. The winning class
at the end of four weeks receives an ice cream party. After three weeks,
the students managed to raise well over $1,000 for the Red Cross.
Douglas Kyle, Aptos, CA, Sixth grade
My school raised over $2,000 dollars
for the September 11 tragedy. We gave the check to Sears and the Red Cross.
This tragedy directly affected me because my uncle worked on the 102nd
floor in the south tower of the World Trade Center and died in the collapse
of the towers.
Maryam Khan, Mississauga, Ontario, Sixth grade
Our school, Clough Pike Elementary, raised almost $2,700 for the American Red Cross. We will have a special Veteran's Day assembly on November 9 to honor local veterans. Students will present poems and essays, perform skits, and sing songs. The veterans will also share their personal stories. Students in all grades wrote letters to the firefighters and policemen in New York City, for which we received a phone call of thanks. Recently, fifth grade students wrote letters to the sailors on the USS George Washington stationed in the Persian Gulf. Our school has always been close, but this year, due to the tragedy, we truly are "The Clough Pike Family."
Laura Gardner, Cincinnati, OH, Fifth grade
My third grade class wrote essays
about the tragedy on September 11. We included our feelings, as well as
the events of the day. Then I collected them and made a book for each
of the children. We also have a brief patriotic thought each day along
with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Beth Elmer, Lehi, UT, Third grade
My students have spoken a great deal about their feelings of sorrow and have expressed compassion for those who have been lost. Since Sept. 11th, we have been clipping photos from newspapers and magazines. These include people who are working to help the victims of the attacks or showing their patriotism. We have also analyzed the words in the pledge of allegiance, as many of the students admitted they didn't understand what it was about. Many students have an increased interest in world geography, including Afghanistan.
Lynda A., NH, Fourth grade
The day after the tragedy, my Grade 1 students at Niton Central School in Niton Junction, Alberta, Canada were very inquisitive and shocked about what had happened. They had watched the news with their parents the night before. The lessons I had planned for the day would have to wait. We discussed the events that they had witnessed and they had many questions, to which I did not have answers. All I could do was listen. I posted a map of the world on the board and marked where New York, USA was situated and where we are. As the children studied the map, the first comment was, "Oh, they are close to us." It took my student's comments to remind me of the saying, "What a small world we live in." One of the concerns my students had was about the children that were at school that day in New York. I told them that people were sad and scared, so they were staying home to be with their families. My students impressed me with their level of concern and they asked me what they could do. Throughout my life, I have responded with the written word to people in crisis. I thought this would be a way to help my students respond to their need of expressing empathy to others. Each student in class created cards of condolence. They wrote, "Hello Grade 1 USA," "Thinking of you," and "Hope you are safe." They included a Canadian flag decal and photographs of themselves in front of the school. The cards were mailed to "Any Grade 1 Class New York, New York, USA." I am proud of my students. Although they are only six years old, they have demonstrated that even young children can express deep compassion about the terrible and unimaginable events of September 11, 2001. Their words of hope and concern should be arriving in New York shortly.
Margaret Epoch, Niton Junction, Alberta, Canada, First grade
My first-graders started a red, white, and blue chain and had other classes add to the chain, which now hangs in the school. The students also started bringing in their quarters to raise money in memory of the firefighters who perished in New York. Our goal has been $100 and it has been a very slow process. We have now made U.S. Flag pins out of toothpicks that students will start selling at the school for 50¢ each. All the money we collect is going to our local firefighters and rescue squad.
Sherry Fulcher, New Bern, NC, First grade
Skamania School is located in a very small rural setting in southwest Washington. We had a penny fundraiser in which each classroom had a box for collecting pennies. For each penny, the class received one "point." Other classes could sabotage the count by adding silver coins or paper money. We raised $888.88 for the American Red Cross in one week!
Mrs. Clark-Bennett, Skamania, WA, Seventh and Eighth grade
Our fifth grade class made a large flag using photographs of the students wearing red and white (for the stripes). They each also took photos with their face through a large star cut out, which were put together to make the stars on the blue background. The flag is approximately 5' by 6' and it's beautiful!
Angie Battle, Perry, GA, Fifth grade
My students wrote letters to the rescue workers, which included words of encouragement and support for all of their hard work. We also created little bags filled with special candy for them that included a 100 Grand® bar because they are worth it, a Hershey's Hug because they need it, and a Hershey's Kiss for the same reason as the hug. As a school, we raised over $5,000 for the families effected by this tragedy.
Brigit DiPrimo, East Setauket, NY, Sixth grade
Our homeschool group is having a "Patriotic Skating Party" just in time for Veteran's Day. We are all going to dress in red, white and blue, have patriotic music, snacks, and a moment of silence to honor our fallen Americans.
Martha Hollingsworth, Dugger, IN, Grades K8
We had an assembly to honor the firefighters and police officers of the city of Elgin. The chief of police and the assistant fire chief were in attendance. We prayed for the firefighters and police officers who were killed on September 11th. We then presented student-made banners, cards, cookies, and balloons. In conclusion, we extended our hands over the honorees, and sang a special blessing. It was a very rewarding experience for all!
My fourth-graders released balloons with messages to honor the victims. The school is collecting pennies to donate to the relief effort.
Pam Carman, Kernersville, NC, Fourth grade
We have registered with Make a Difference Day projects and are asking schools across the US to help make doves to send to the Mayor of New York in memory of the victims. We are hoping he will "release" the doves in a ticker-tape parade.
Mrs. Lombardo, New Haven, CT, Fourth grade
We sent cards and pictures to both New York City and to the President of the United States. Our class also created a bulletin board using pictures found on the Internet to detail our impressions of the tragedy and what has followed.
Maggie Sergeant, Stoddard, NH, Second and Third grade
I thought this slide show made by a teacher and her students to show their support for America was absolutely wonderful. The slideshow is titled "Freedom!" and can be downloaded from this link www.photoparade.com/customerSamples.html
Kim Agricola, Natick, MA, Grades 15
We say the pledge of allegiance each morning now. We discussed what it means to be an American.
Lynne Redgate, Fairfield, CT, Second grade
My primary 4 class was most upset and decided to write cards, letters and pictures to show their support. They also held a school collection which we sent off to the September 11th Telethon Fund. One of our pupils luckily was travelling to New York and took our cards to lay in the memorial in Union Square.
Miss Smith, Scotland, UK, Fourth Grade
One of my classes is producing an anthology of literature and artwork that was created from the September 11th tragedy. They plan on using it to raise money for the Relief Fund.
Danon Dastugue, Destrehan, LA
My students were quite worried about the rescue workers in New York City. We made "Hero Cards" telling them that Alaska cares about them, regardless of how far away we are. We sent them to an address I had seen on Nickelodeon. We were also concerned after reading the first Scholastic News issue of the month. The children needed to know if Firefighter Hannafin and his dog, mentioned in the issue, were okay. I contacted Scholastic and was informed that Kevin Hannafin was at that very moment on the rubble pile searching for his lost brother, a fellow firefighter, who has not been seen since September 11th. We sent him a condolence card with pictures drawn by the children.
Rebecca Adams, North Pole, AK, Second grade
The teachers in the third, fourth, and fifth grades, a retired art teacher, and the great principal of our school have put together a program that lets the kids do fun art projects. We were struck by the horrible events of September 11th and have made patriotism a school wide project. We will be making a big paper flag from the writings and drawings with each part telling how the children feel about America. Jasper Johns was the inspiration for this project. The students interpret music phrases and create ideas that make them feel proud of their country, school, community, and themselves. This project will be a tapestry of concepts all related back to living in America.
Tim Schoonover, Dodge City, KS
We have a school wide reading incentive program in progress. For every minute the children read, their parents are encouraged to give them a penny to donate to the Red Cross. We have already collected $1,000 and the children are really motivated. Classes and individual students can earn prizes too. Safeway grocery store will match our donation if we donate through them to the Red Cross!
Debbie Witt, Pasadena, MD, First grade
My students, along with some other classes at our school, printed "Care and Share" cards from abcteach.com, colored them, and wrote messages to people involved in the tragedy.
Doreen Lavallee, Odenton, MD, Second grade
Our students at Linthicum Elementary School made cards from Crayola's Web site (www.crayola.com) and sent them to the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce expressing our concern for the families, rescue workers, and residents affected by this tragedy. The children really felt that their cards would help the people feel a little better. The Chamber of Commerce sent back a wonderful letter thanking students for their thoughts and prayers. The children felt they had really made a difference!
Carolyn, Linthicum, MD, Second grade
The morning of the September 11 tragedy, my fourth graders walked in very excited and frightened. We spent a great portion of the early morning discussing what had happened. Some were afraid that it would happen to us in San Jose, California. We discussed our safety and how the staff at school and the community is here for them. Later that night, I spoke with my 21-year-old son who told me that when he went walking with his friends downtown, it was very quiet with the exception of police and military soldiers standing at almost every corner. The next day I shared this information with my students and also told them about the elementary school in New York that was four blocks away from the World Trade Center. My students felt a great need to do something for the children of that school. We finally decided to write letters to the school so that the children in New York could see that children from the other side of the country were feeling sympathy for them. My students' letters were very emotional and touching. They still talk about New York and refer to the school as if those children are our own personal friends.
Yvonne Soares, San Jose, CA, Fourth grade
Every student at Immaculate Conception School in Ravenna, Ohio, sent cards to New York and Washington for the victims and heroes. The kindergarten class is sending cards, drawings, and pictures at least twice a month to units in the military via the Navy.
J. Flecksteiner, Ravenna, OH, Kindergarten
My students and I raised funds to donate to the Petco Foundation, which is helping the animal victims of the tragedy of September 11 those who were injured or left homeless. They also helped to provide needed supplies to the K9 units on the scene at Ground Zero. Our school as a whole also raised over $3,000 to donate to the families of the victims of the World Trade Center attacks. We are also building a "Wreath of Unity," for which each class chose a piece of writing, song, or poem that expressed their feelings about freedom, unity, and being American. The pieces were then posted on red, white, and blue circles that will form the wreath and will go on permanent display in the entryway of our school.
Brenda Montgomery, Weston, CT, Fifth grade
My students created patriotic angels and sent them to the people in the Pentagon who must face the damaged building daily. We wrote over 160 letters letting them know that we are praying for strength and comfort for them.
Bonnie Jenkins, Middletown, PA, Kindergarten and first grade
My preschool class was in session when we first learned of the horrendous events that occurred on September 11. For days afterward, our morning group time became a vehicle for my students to discuss their feelings regarding the tragedy as it unfolded. To honor the victims and their families, we made and wore "Freedom Necklaces" of red, white, and blue beads. We also made and wore star pins with red, white, and blue glitter and ribbons. I glued the words "United We Stand" on each, and we went on a "Freedom March" around the school. During art, they painted marble using red, white, and blue paint, and I added the words "I'm proud to be an American" on each one and displayed them in the hallway. Our entire school dressed in red, white, and blue on two occasions, and donated money in conjunction with channel 7 to help the victims and their families.
Felecia Harvey, Detroit, MI, Kindergarten
My fourth-grade math students set up a business in which they make flag pins, sell them, and donate all the profits to the American Red Cross.
Robin Oglesby, Richmond, VA, Fourth Grade
Our fourth graders made a huge American flag with the caption "Hand in Hand, United We Stand." The flag was made with white bulletin board paper with a large blue square in the upper left corner. We cut out 50 stars, put pictures of all the fourth-graders in the center of each, and glued them to the blue square. The red stripes were made with the children's handprints. It looks awesome and everyone feels a sense of pride every time they pass by!
Beulah Elementary, Richmond, VA, Fourth Grade
My second-grade class in the Bronx, New York, is collecting money for the Red Cross. We are also writing letters to the police, firefighters, and rescue workers. In September, this class of six and seven year olds collected $52 and will continue collecting for the entire year. Although we do not live in a rich community, families are really pitching in to help. Many of our families were directly affected by this national tragedy. Some have lost jobs, loved ones, and colleagues, while others are thanking God for the rescue workers who saved their loved ones. God Bless America.
Ann Berliant, Freeport, NY, Second grade
My fifth-grade students created a quilt using squares of oak-tag paper held together by yarn. Each square depicted their love of America. Illustrations included the Statue of Liberty, the Capitol, the White House, and many more. I incorporated squares of great words, such as the Preamble to the Declaration and the Gettysburg Address. The fifth graders took great pride in hanging it outside of our classroom where it is a daily reminder of our precious freedom.
F. Mullen, Waterbury, CT, Sixth grade
Our fourth-grade class constructed a flagpole outside our classroom. Not only did our own class members participate in donating extra money they earned, but many parents walking our halls made donations as well. The school also sponsored a red, white, and blue day. For every person that wore patriotic colors instead of the school uniform, a dollar was donated, which helped us raise over $300. We created flags for the windows with phrases on each stripe explaining what America means to us. The class came up with these thought on their own. We are in the process of making a fence banner out of red, white, and blue cups that says "God Bless the USA." We are also coordinating a patriotic T-shirt sale with proceeds going to help the Red Cross.
Kim Rourke, Westland, MI, Fourth grade
I teach at an American military base in Japan. In the cafeteria hangs a flag made from students' handprints. My class has written cards to the families of the victims, rescue workers, and the president. Because we are in Japan, I read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, which is about a Japanese belief that if a sick person folds a thousand paper cranes and makes a wish, it will come true. After reading the story, students decided they wanted to fold a thousand origami paper cranes for the victims. These will be sent to a hospital after they are completed. They beg me every day to set aside time for folding the paper cranes and ask to take paper home to fold cranes in the evening. Also, since we now have extra security on the military base, the students brought in goodies for the soldiers to enjoy on their long shifts. We also have discussions almost every day about any aspect of the tragedy they want to bring up. It amazes me how aware they are of the events and how much more they want to know.
Josie Sims, Yokota Air Base, Japan, Third grade
We wrote notes and cards to the firefighters, police officers, and families that lost loved ones.
Gary Soper, Tigard, OR, Third grade
I am the Media Specialist at St. Anthony Interparochial Catholic School in Florida. We discovered that there is a school in New York City by the same name as ours located only eight blocks from the World Trade Center. Our students wanted to help those students and families affected by the events of September 11th, and began collecting money. The students collected a total of $1200 for their "namesake" school in New York City!
Betty Will, San Antonio, FL, Grades K8
We spoke of the power of love to heal what hate destroys. I asked students to draw their feeling and thoughts and cut hearts out of construction paper. We created a collage using our drawings and newspaper images. We decided to use the hearts to make a figure that was "hugging" the collage and added a red, white, and blue border.
Linda Fideler, Seattle, WA, Seventh and Eighth grade
Our students (K-8) are studying the region around Afghanistan, learning about the cultural and religious differences that seem to divide us, and placing a strong emphasis on respecting the rights and beliefs of others. We have been revisiting the concepts of who is a hero and what a hero represents. Because we are a Christian school, we are working on a patriotic faith-based assembly to pray for peace for parents and members of our community. The students have been making different patriotic crafts and writing letters to the FDNY and NYPD thanking them for their courage and dedication. They are now brainstorming a gift to send to our armed forces during the upcoming holidays.
Elaine, Chelsea Academy, New Castle, DE, Grades K8
We collected pennies for the victims and made a flag using students handprints for the red stripes and their thumbprints for the stars. We also made flag pins and now wear them all the time.
Cindy Price, Savannah, GA, First grade
My son and I are making small gifts to send to children who have lost their parents in the tragedy so that they will have a nice Christmas. God Bless America, where we are free.
Patti Sherfey, Snow Hill, NC, Second Grade
We made an "As American as Pumpkin Pie" bulletin board to show patriotism during the month of October. I punched out pumpkin shapes from red, white, and blue paper. Students signed the pumpkin cut-outs with words of inspiration about our American heroes. On the wall, I arranged them in the shape of a large pumpkin. The black cut-outs that were stapled onto the pumpkin to represent the jack-o-lantern's face can easily be removed to carry this patriotic bulletin board design into the fall season (and Veteran's Day!) for the month of November.
Amy Norris, Terre Haute, IN, Fourth grade
We designed a PowerPoint presentation that we showed during a Peace Assembly honoring local and national heroes. More than thirty slides featured local business signs and school marquis boards with messages of support for America. Slides of our students saying the pledge in their classrooms, gathering around our school's flagpole for a moment of silence, and wearing red, white, and blue on the National Day of Remembrance (September 14th) are also included. It was overwhelming to see the collection of pictures that were taken from around our community in support of our country. "Only Time" by Enya was the music played during the slide presentation. Students and visitors were in awe of the abundance of community pride portrayed.
Melanie Beaver & Amy Norris, Terre Haute, IN, Fourth grade
The students at Roosevelt Elementary in Portsmouth, Ohio, raised over $600 for the American Red Cross, and donated bottled water to the victims in New York. The school also had a patriotic dinner and invited students and grandparents to a play in which each grade sang a different patriotic song and made a patriotic symbol to wear. A flag was also hung on each classroom doorway.
Angie Finn, Portsmouth, OH, Kindergarten
My kindergarten class made a class flag using handprints. On a big piece of white butcher paper, we added blue handprints for the stars in a rectangle and red handprints for the stripes. We hung the flag where the parents could see it when they dropped their kids off. Everyone loved it!
Rosa Bernal, Tustin, CA, Kindergarten
Since our school is located in Jersey City (just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan), the Kindergarten class made a collage-type poster and delivered it to our local fire station headquarters. The children drew pictures of what they wanted to say to the rescue workers. I then added captions, and we decided the title should be "God Bless All the Rescue Workers." When we delivered it to the fire station, we met the Chief, Captain, and many firefighters who actually took part in the rescue mission. Both parties were deeply touched, especially one of our students whose parents (both mother and father) had worked in the World Trade Center. His card read, "Thank you for saving my mom." When he handed that card to the fireman, everyone got teary-eyed. We really felt good as a class, being able to do something to show our appreciation for their courage and dedication.
Amna Mohamed, Jersey City, NJ, Kindergarten
We have done many of the things already mentioned by other teachers. We have lined our classroom windows with flags, collected Pennies for Patriotism, and are having a community and schoolwide Patriotic Sing-a-Long. My fifth grade is also in the process of putting together mini-lessons on heroes, based on a Scholastic article we read. They will present these lessons to each grade below them in our "Hats Off to Heroes" kickoff. To wrap up their mini-lessons to the younger classes, the fifth-graders will assist each grade in decorating a rescue worker's hat with the phrase "A hero is someone who..." and place them around the school.
Renee Vogel, Morrisville, PA, Fifth grade
My Kindergarten class is honoring the victims and heroes by learning the song "God Bless America" and coloring a flag to give to some of our student's parents who are in the Armed Forces.
Shirley Ramos, Tampa, FL, Kindergarten
The fifth-grade students at Pulaski Academy are having a bake sale. The proceeds from the sale are being sent to the New York City Firemen's Scholarship Fund. The weekend prior to the sale, a few students had "Lemon-Aid" stands to raise money for the cause. Approximately $150 has already been raised and the bake sale has not even begun. We are anxious to total our sales and send the money to our fellow Americans in New York!
Tiffany Knight, Little Rock, AR, Fifth grade
Our elementary school held a fundraiser called, "Coins for Kids" and we raised $3,100 for the kids of New York City. All the kids, teachers, and parents donated their spare change, cash, or wrote checks for the victims. The school is very proud. God Bless America!
Name Witheld, Jefferson City, MO, Kindergarten
My second graders decorated shoeboxes to send to the children who were victims of this tragedy. I paired students together and they chose whether they wanted to create a box for a boy or a girl according to age. They went and bought small, inexpensive items such as school supplies, small toys, and hygiene items to place in the boxes. Then, students wrote letters to the children to go inside the box along with a picture of themselves. My class really enjoyed this and knew that they were actually helping the children by putting just a little smile on their faces!
Jennifer Hilton, St. George, SC, Second grade
My class made "Yankee Doodle Trail Mix" to sell at a PTO Bake Sale. All proceeds went to the Red Cross. They also made flag pins and wrote letters of thanks and encouragement to the firefighters in New York. As a school, we have just finished a wall-sized flag made from the hands of all the children, named "Hands Together for America." We are also making a "Peace Chain" to hang in the hallways. On each link will be a child's wish for peace.
M. Dolan, New Milford, NJ, Third grade
We had a penny drive to raise money for the victims. We also wrote peer letters to children in New York City who have a school close to the site.
S. Yates, Forsyth, MO, Third grade
Our school is donating our "Penny War" money (loose change, dollars, etc.) to the Red Cross for the months of August, September, and October. This money would normally go towards buying computers for the classrooms. One of the main hallway bulletin boards was transformed into an American flag made out of the students' hands"Hands for America!"
Sts. Peter & Paul School, Hopkinsville, KY, Grades K8
The fourth-grade students at Springdale decided to raise money for the American Red Cross by holding a bake sale and selling beaded flag pins. They created their own theme: "Hope is on the Way." In two weeks, they have earned over $1500. This is totally their idea and they have done some very creative fundraising. Some have even sold old toys at a garage sale and donated the money. I am so touched by their selflessness.
Kathy Seibert, Springdale, SC, Fourth grade
Our sixth-grade students at Plymouth South Middle School have constructed 1000 laminated books, which will be sold at our local mall. We will send the proceeds to the local chapter of the Red Cross. This will give students a vested interest in caring for others.
Kelly A. White, Plymouth, MA, Sixth grade
I am making patriotic pins and selling them with the profits going to the Red Cross. I can hardly keep up with my orders!
Angie, Winter Haven, FL, Sixth grade
Since I teach in a Catholic School, I am able to allow the children to express themselves in written, original prayers. In addition, we have had prayer services and special Masses. Some seventh-grade girls organized a bake sale on a Saturday morning. They posted signs around our town, the day before. Lo and behold, they collected over $800, with very little publicity. The student government plans to hold a Red, White, and Blue Day in celebration for which the children will each pay a dollar or any donation. The money for both of these fundraisers will go to the American Red Cross. I am searching still from the best discussion questions for my classes, and hope to hear some ideas on this from your readers.
Mary Ellen Sawyer, McLean, VI, Grades 68
A fourth grade classroom has organized
a penny drive for our entire school. The students went from room to room
to explain what their project and its goals. I told my second-grade students
that I would double whatever amount of money they could raise within two
weeks. Each morning, we put our money in a jar, which will be added to
the school fund later.
Terrance Birkeland, Bemidji, MN, Third grade
My students are second graders
and they are learning about writing, editing, and rewriting. We are writing
a short letter using the 4-square method (3 factual sentences and 1 feeling/summarizing
sentence). We plan to send our letters to the Firefighter heroes in New
York City. We are also baking and decorating (math-measurement) patriotic
cookies and writing letters of thanks for our local firefighters and police.
Missy Madl, Melbourne, FL, Second grade
Our students made a peace chain
during a prayer service that was hung outside in front of Church. We sent
cards to the firefighters to let them know that we are thinking of them.
Sr. Patricia Tyree, Harlan, KY
I teach fourth grade at Deming
Elementary in Terre Haute, Indiana. We put red paper on a large wall (from
ceiling to floor) in our main hallway. We then put a large square of blue
paper in the upper left-hand corner. On silver foil paper, we punched
out one star for each of our 65 fourth graders and wrote their names on
them. Each student wrote an acrostic poem on white half-sheets of paper
on a theme such as, Americans, Peace, Freedom, or the flag. These poems
were stapled to the red paper in rows, becoming the white stripes on our
flag. From a distance, this wall looks like a bright and bold flag. Up
close, our students' pride in their country is quite clear. This super-sized
flag bulletin board received a great big salute from the kids!
Melanie Beaver, Terre Haute, IN, Fourth grade
Each year, my students design
their own Halloween costume. We all wear it and this contributes to a
class feeling of teamwork. This year, my students will be American Flags
to show pride in our country's strength and unity. This will also lead
into a great unit studying the history of the American Flag and the true
meaning of saying the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. We go through
the motions each day and now my Pre-First graders feel connected to our
country. The art teacher at our school has made flag pins and sold them
for 50 cents with all the money going to the victims. Our patrols have
had a donut sale, too.
Laurie Azerraf, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
We are planning a Peace Assembly
in honor of our local and national heroes. The assembly will be held on
the morning of October 11, one month after the September 11 tragedy. Each
grade level is preparing a ten-minute stage performance dedicated to a
local service group (firemen, Red Cross, U.S. Military, veterans, etc).
Performances will include poetry readings, skits, songs, sign language,
and more. Members of each service group, students' family members, media,
and all community members are invited to this very special program. Before
each grade level performs, the heroes in the audience from each local
service group will be recognized. At the end of the program, the Red Cross
will be presented with a check from our students' fundraising efforts
supporting the Disaster Relief Fund.
Melanie Beaver, Terre Haute, IN, Fourth grade
My third-grade class and grades
K-4, colored pictures of angels and wrote messages. I sent them to St.
Amy, Pittsburgh, PA, Third grade
My entire school made a banner
that read, "Lending Our Hands". Every student in the school painted his
or her hand and put it on the banner.
Kristie, Blackwood, NJ, Kindergarten
We tied red, white, and blue ribbons
to the fences around the school on September 12. We have also honored
moments of silence, learned new patriotic songs, and have been fundraising
through candy-grams and lunchtime raffles. The sixth-graders will be creating
wall of hands in red, white, and blue in the shape of the American Flag.
Because we are so close to a major airport, we have had to remain very
positive to maintain the sense of security our students need.
Mary, Schiller Park, IL, Sixth grade
The children at our school made
"gloves stuffed with love." Over 600 pairs of work gloves were donated,
and each K-5 grade child wrote an encouraging letter to the rescue workers
in New York, or drew them a picture. The pictures and letters were stuffed
inside the gloves and delivered this past Monday.
S. Stover, Raleigh, NC
We shared our feelings, especially about what happened in New York. We made collages using the words and photos from the newspapers, most of which students had already read. Then, we shared our responses in a presentation.
K Ramirez-Pabon, Baldwin Park, CA, Fourth grade
We had a dialogue about the tragedy. Each child had a chance to share something he or she felt was important. Students wrote in their journals and then shared their writing. We said a school-wide Pledge of Allegiance and a district-wide moment of silence.
Andrea Judge, San Jose, CA, Second grade
My fifth graders started out in a class meeting by discussing their feelings and the events of the day. They then wrote freely in their journals this way they were able to get some things out on paper that they didn't get a chance or didn't feel comfortable voicing in class. The students decided that they wanted to do something to help, so they brainstormed a list of people they could make cards for. After finishing the list, the class voted and decided to make cards for the fire fighters in Arlington, Virginia for all their hard work at the Pentagon. These fire fighters were chosen because they were closer to home, and the students wanted the heroes to receive their cards as soon as possible. They also made a class card for the President to show him their support! All of them were beautiful and had very heartfelt messages! These activities really seemed to help in the healing process of my students!
Betsy Cochran, Springfield, VA, Fifth grade
My students and I honored the September 11, 2001 tragedy with a variety of activities. We decorated the hallways in patriotic colors: red, white and blue. Students wrote stories and typed the information on the computer. After the final copy was completed, it was posted outside the classroom. The students also pretended to be news reporters and shared information with other students. Our school receives the newspaper on a daily basis, and I asked students to read the articles and reflect upon them.
Marlyn Guillen, New Orleans, LA, Eighth grade
My class wrote letters to the firefighters of Firehouse Number 5 in New York City. I hope this small gesture brings them a little comfort. Our school had a penny parade and the children brought in coins. During the parade, the children filled the boots that belonged to our local firefighters with the change. The monies collected from the parade will be sent to the relief efforts.
Julie Good, Pharr, TX, Third grade
I teach first grade at Fairview Elementary School. We have been collecting pop cans and change to donate to the families of the victims and the heroes. My class has briefly discussed the situation but we did not go into too many details due to their age. I have asked parents to be the ones to discuss the tragedy as much as possible with their children since it is such a sensitive matter.
Brenda Griffin, Spencer, IA, First grade
My fifth and sixth grade students have made tribute posters to honor the victims, families, and heroes of the tragedy. We completed five posters, one for each of the following: police, firefighters, families, doctors, and those who have lost their lives. We made a banner to hang above our posters that reads, "America Stands Together." We have the posters displayed in the cafeteria. We are a small school, but we have raised a large amount of money for the Red Cross by donating our snack money and having a bake sale.
Jennifer, Alexandria, KY, Fifth and Sixth grade