How Are Avon Students Learning about 9/11?

A roundup of the lessons and events in Avon Public Schools.

Many Avon students up to fifth grade were not born when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on Sept. 1, 2001, and the rest were young when it happened.

How is 9/11 addressed in elementary school to high school?

Avon High School

Social studies teacher Kyle Kramek read a 9/11 tribute he wrote, over the loudspeaker to the community.

"Our social studies department is currently including discussions around 9/11 in each of their classes," Principal Jason Beaudin wrote in an email to Patch. 

Avon Middle School

Avon Fire Marshal and former Fire Chief James DiPace spoke to the students at their Friday "town hall" meeting, about his recollections of hearing the news about 9/11.

It was his first time publicly speaking about his thoughts on 9/11, he said.

Prior to his talk, he told Principal Marco Famiglietti, "We were just doing our jobs that day," like the New York City firefighters who rushed into the towers to try and extinguish the fire and save people were doing theirs.

Famiglietti wrote in an email to Patch that 9/11 is "discussed in our social studies classes within the context of their curricula." Seventh-graders learn about 9/11 in their world geography classes and eighth-graders learn about it in U.S. history and civics lessons.

Thompson Brook School

The staff led a presentation Friday on the history of 9/11, in honor of the 10th anniversary.

Principal Anne Watson noted that "these students were either infants or not yet born" when 9/11 happened.

"We sang America the Beautiful, we connected it to our school goal of citizenship/civic virtue," Watson wrote in an email to Patch. "We emphasized the pillar of "empathy" and talked about how we can demonstrate empathy in tough times."  

The fifth- and sixth-grade students each wrote a "Wish for the World" on a paper star, which were displayed Friday in the school foyer under a Thompson Brook commemorative 9/11 quilt. 

Messages ranged from hopes for world peace to wishes that 9/11 would never happen again.

One student wrote, "I wish that 9/11 kids would be treated the same as non-9/11 kids."

Pine Grove Elementary School

Principal Gail Dahling-Hench said that 9/11 is typically covered through the school's social studies resources like "Time for Kids," not in the regular curriculum.

"We do not have it taught as a unit of study as our students are young and starting with general concepts like communities/towns," Dahling-Hench wrote in an email to Patch.  

On Monday, the students will have a "dedicated moment of silence" in honor of 9/11 that fourth-grade students will lead during morning announcements. 

"We will be asking our students to 'help someone' like so many people from various communities helped on 9/11," Dahling-Hench wrote.

Roaring Brook School

takes the same consideration into mind about their students' young ages when it comes to broaching the topic of 9/11.

"Throughout the day today teachers read stories to their students and discussed the event according to the developmental stages of the children," Principal Crisanne Colgan wrote in an email to Patch. "We have to strike the appropriate balance for our young children for events such as 9/11!"

She made an announcement to the school at the end of the day about "remembering and honoring our heroes and those who help us in many ways."

"In preparation for the anniversary of an important date in history on Sunday, let us honor the heroes around us," Colgan said. "Heroes are people who are courageous, brave, willing to make sacrifices to help others. We all know many heroes and special people who help us in many ways and keep us safe: firefighters, police, members of the military, your moms and dads and families, your teachers."

She also told students, "You are so fortunate to live in Avon, in America where we enjoy special freedoms, are kind to each other and take care of each other. Always remember to take care of one another as part of this big family of America."


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