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9/11: Parents and Teachers

August 25th, 2011


photo of Art Therapy project courtesy of Marc Love via flickr/Creative Commons

9/11: Parents and Teachers

August 25, 2011

Dear Parents and Teachers,

Marking the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is a priority at HTE.  For many children this will be their first major exposure to the events of that day. Weeks away, there is already an incredible amount of news coverage.

There are some great resources out there for children summarizing the events of that day that include curriculum-based lesson plans, photos, timelines and more. A few of those links are below. They are thoughtful and thorough.  HTE will not be trying to recreate what has already been done so well.

Beginning next week, HTE will begin posting about 9/11. There will be an overview and a few select perspectives from people with direct experience with the attacks.  My hope is that children will connect with these personal stories as well as benefit from a decade’s worth of reflection, memories, lessons learned, and healing. HTE’s goal is to give kids enough information to try to grasp the scale of this event while providing a human connection to empathize with.

There is also a post from child psychologist, Dr. Lori Walsh, who gives her thoughts on how to explain 9/11 to children. Please use it as a guide only. You know your child best. You and/or your child can also submit your questions to Lori through HTE and she will answer you (please be clear whether we can post the answers on HTE).  I’m thankful to Lori for the opportunity to ask questions personally relevant to you at a potentially challenging time.

And, finally, because this is not a “one-size-fits-all” news story, please take a moment if you can to review the forthcoming posts before sharing with your child or class.


Please review the materials as you see fit depending on your child.


Tribute WTC : Originally started by Lee Ielpi who lost his son, a firefighter, in the World Trade Center attacks. There is a visitor’s center and walking tour near Ground Zero and the site is really well done for educational purposes and at-home use as well.

National Geographic : Great material on their beta site.

Scholastic : They have a special section you can link to here.

4 Action Initiative : A curriculum-oriented site spearheaded by Families of September 11.

BOOKS for younger children.

You can click on the links to learn more.

Fireboat by Maira Kalman

The Little Chapel that Stood by A.B. Curtiss

The Man Who Walked Between The Towers by Mordecai Gerstein


Claudia Heitler

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