Sleepy Hollow Middle School students weren’t born when the 9/11 attacks occurred 18 years ago. As the anniversary of the attacks approached, Principal Joshua Whitham confronted a challenge: how to teach the history but also do something actionable.
Whitham discovered the answer with the assistance of 911day.org and United for the Troops, two organizations with which he partnered over the summer.
Students across SHMS took part in a day of service and remembrance today to mark the anniversary. Eighth-graders focused on the resolve of the nation following the terrorist attacks. They watched a video, “Relics from the Rubble,” and are designing magazine covers to reflect the response to the tragedy. Later this week they will write letters to soldiers that will be enclosed in care packages sent overseas.
Eighth-graders Andrea Jefferson, Amarie Guzman and Karen Cepada found photos of an eagle, a New York City Police badge and a peace sign. “We want to represent the people who died and helped,” said Jefferson. The group said their cover represents hope.
Posters drawn by the students are about to transform the seventh-grade hallways into a “Hallway of Heroes” with posters the students are drawing. Their choices include police officers, teachers, detectives and veterinarians.
Sixth-graders are also writing letters to the troops and obtained a ‘Good Deed’ card to expresses a deed he or she has committed to conducting this year. The envelope will be posted in the hall and opened at the end of the school year.
Whitham plans to continue a 9/11 day of service every year. “The message is that days after, brother helped brother, neighbor helped neighbor,” said Whitham. “From the tragedy came such acts of goodness and kindness.”