The tragedies of September 11 hit New York
City students hard, especially those whose schools stood in the
shadows of the World Trade Center. While they shed plenty of tears,
many kids also chose to express their feelings with pens and paintbrushes.
It wasn't long before their "masterpieces" caught the attention
of Shelley Harwayne.
"The children were doing incredible work in response to the tragedy,"
says the superintendent of Community District 2 in New York City.
In late September, Harwayne contacted the New York City's Schools
Chancellor, who then put out a call to the city's superintendents
to send in student artwork. Hundreds of pieces started pouring in
from kindergarten students to high school seniors. School administrators
and teachers sifted through the works of art and selected what Harwayne
calls "the gems."
Those gems poems, essays, letters, and artwork are now proudly
displayed in a new book published last month: Messages to Ground
Zero: Children Respond to September 11, 2001
. Proceeds from
the book will go to the Fund for the Public Schools, which will
benefit children who lost a parent and students who were forced
to evacuate their schools.
"It's a hopeful, comforting book," says Harwayne. "On one hand,
it says we will never forget. On the other hand, it says that we
have to make the world a better place for children, and children
will lead us there."
Do you think these kids are heroes? To nominate a hero into our
Hall of Heroes, click here