Craig teachers bring Sept. 11 lessons into the classroom | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig teachers bring Sept. 11 lessons into the classroom

Bridget Manley

Madeline Hume, a student in Alegra Corey’s East Elementary School first-grade class, holds a letter decorated as an American flag that students recently made. Students will send the letters and their favorite school supply to students at Public School 234, located near Ground Zero in downtown New York.





Madeline Hume, a student in Alegra Corey's East Elementary School first-grade class, holds a letter decorated as an American flag that students recently made. Students will send the letters and their favorite school supply to students at Public School 234, located near Ground Zero in downtown New York.
Bridget Manley

Quotable

"Sept. 11 changed the way that we live, and I think it's so important that my students know why … has it changed so much."

— Alegra Corey, East Elementary School first-grade teacher

Most adults need no textbook to remember what happened Sept. 11, 2001 — the details of that tragic day are forever seared into

their memory.

But, what about young children, like the ones in Alegra Corey's first-grade classroom at East Elementary School?

Recommended Stories For You

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center took place years before those students were born, and footage from the event may be too disturbing to show in class.

Corey found an answer to this dilemma by using the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks as an opportunity to teach her first-graders about kindness, resilience and unity.

And, this week, they're putting those lessons into action. Corey's students are writing letters to students at Public School 234, located near Ground Zero in downtown New York.

She told her students that when the children of PS 234 returned to school after the attacks, they had no desks and no school supplies.

So, as a gesture, each student in Corey's class also is sending his or her favorite school supply to students at PS 234, she said.

The goal is to "kind of show that school that we haven't forgot here in Craig, Colo., and that's really the message we're sending to them — we still remember," Corey said.

Corey isn't the only teacher who's addressing 9/11 in the classroom. Other teachers are doing the same, including Misty Jones, a fifth-grade teacher at Sunset Elementary School.

Her lessons on the subject focus on patriotism, citizenship and how the world has changed in the last decade, she said.

"I think it's important (to teach about Sept. 11) because I think they need to realize that there's a bigger world out there that can directly affect us," she said.

Due to TV and other media, students aren't completely insulated from information about 9/11. Still, they have questions.

On Thursday, Corey said one of her students asked what seemed like a simple question: Who was responsible for the attacks?

It wasn't easy to answer.

"How far do you go into that?" Corey said.

Still, she said, students need to learn about 9/11, if only because it was a factor that shaped the world they live in. It affects how they travel and even played a role in heightened security measures at schools, she said.

"Sept. 11 changed the way that we live, and I think it's so important that my students know why … has it changed so much," Corey said.

Corey didn't show students footage of the attacks, opting instead to show them pictures before and after of Ground Zero.

But that doesn't mean they can be protected from all the negative aspects of 9/11.

Parents of some of the children at PS 234 were in the towers when the attacks occurred, Corey said, and that's upsetting to some of her students.

But, even this can become a teachable moment. Children at PS 234 can be an example to her students of how to handle difficult situations.

"If something bad happens," she said she tells her students, "we just need to come together and be kind and work together to overcome what the students of PS 234 did."

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1793 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com.

Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.

Quotable

“Sept. 11 changed the way that we live, and I think it’s so important that my students know why … has it changed so much.”

— Alegra Corey, East Elementary School first-grade teacher

Go back to article