Newton students learn about September attacks

COVINGTON -- For many adults, they remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when the Sept. 11 attacks happened.

But now, 10 years later, many students in schools today weren't old enough to realize the severity of the attacks and some of them weren't even born.

Still, the attacks are an integral part of history that teachers have to try to relay to their students through special lessons and events.

"We have found that we must first educate the students as to the events before we can ask them to commemorate or even reflect on the events," said Anita Anderson, social studies department chair at Alcovy High School. "Time passes quickly."

At Alcovy, social studies teachers will show videos of the actual event, and some have produced memorial art based on the events to show in class. Afterwards, some teachers might have students create a reflective writing assignment.

"Many of the students are too young to remember," Anderson said.

Even younger students are delving into the studies of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The first-grade team at the Newton County Theme School has planned a two-week study of patriotism and some special events surrounding it. Additionally, they plan to review age-appropriate videos and pictures of the new memorial park in New York.

They also plan to write about why they are proud to be an American and talk about what a hero is to them.

"We are stressing that not only can fire fighters and police officers be heroes but anyone who helps another person in time of need," said first-grade teacher Michele Jeselnik.

East Newton Elementary School plans to hold a special breakfast and ceremony today. Students have been asked to invite their family members and friends who are heroes, like military personnel, fire fighters, police officers and other community members. After breakfast, they will sing patriotic songs by the flagpole and honor the guests.

At South Salem Elementary School, student cadets from Newton High School's Jr. ROTC plan to visit the school for a special 9-11 remembrance ceremony at the flagpole.

Liberty Middle School plans to hold a moment of silence today and have members of their trumpet corps around the building to play "Taps" and "The Navy Hymn."

Other schools also have special events planned this week and next week to commemorate the Sept. 11 attacks.