Students throughout the district's elementary schools probably do not remember anything from Sept. 11 -- most were not even born yet. Their ideas and memories of the event have been filtered through the lens of television, books and stories.
But that did not stop the schools from recognizing the eleventh anniversary on Tuesday.
Sept. 11 is know as Patriot Day in the United States. It is a day of service that honors the victims, police, firefighters and paramedics who responded to the crisis. And these were some of the very words spoken by fifth-graders at their 9/11 ceremony at Pleasantdale Elementary School this week.
Schools and students commemorated 9/11 with various activities, such as a moment of silence followed by an explanation of the events that occurred, schoolwide participation in singing the "Star-Spangled Banner," and poetry readings.
“On a day that could be filled with anxiety and tension, the activities we planned gave the school a sense of unity, family, and community," said Mt. Pleasant Elementary School Principal Michael Schiavo.
"We came together quite well," he added. "The children’s perceptions about 9/11 were amazing. Their thoughts and understanding were quite sophisticated considering that most of the students were not born until after the event. But, their parents and our teachers educated them, and as a result they were able to understand the need for world peace.”
Students at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School made a quilt of “I will” banners this week. The “I will” project had students write a good deed that they wanted to accomplish on a piece of paper; these were connected together and hung in the school's hallways to create an “I will” quilt.
First-grade teacher Karyn Landis, whose uncle Francis Deming passed away at the World Trade Center that day, brought the idea to Schiavo.
Among the many patches that make up the "I will" quilt hanging at Mt. Pleasant School, student Patrick Anish's reads: "I will have respect for people no matter who in the world they are: Russian, Greek, Spanish, and Italian. It matters how they act not where they’re from. I will always remember 9/11.”