Teachers and students across the Huntington School District commemorated the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with a variety of special activities and observances.
Flower Hill School
At Flower Hill School, the day’s theme was “heroes.” Classroom teachers planned lessons on community heroes, including firefighters, police officers and other first responders. Third and fourth graders wrote to wounded soldiers and sailors at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. Local firefighters visited classrooms throughout the building. Students and faculty members were encouraged to wear red, white and blue attire.
Jefferson Primary School teachers were provided with copies of Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey, a picture book written by Maira Kalman. The book tells the real-life story of the John J. Harvey, a retired fireboat that was first launched in 1931. The fireboat was pressed into service again on September 11, 2001, assisting in the evacuation of people stranded near Ground Zero. The boat has since been retired again and completely restored.
Jefferson teachers had their students make inferences, connections and arguments about the fireboat book during their think-alouds, according to Principal Valerie Capitulo-Saide. Students developed responses to the reading that included appreciation cards for those who have jobs that impact their lives.
The Jefferson youngsters also researched and wrote about famous heroes. Some students compared and contrasted the way the owners of the John J. Harvey felt the day before 9/11 and the day after. Still other students researched and wrote about the ways New York City has been rebuilding since the terrorist attacks. There was still more writing on the ways America has changed in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. A school-wide display of the student work is being created.
Students in each Southdown Primary School classroom worked collaboratively to complete a page in a “big book” called A Southdown School Salute to America.
Classrooms were given a 24 x 36 inch piece of tag board with one letter from the title “United States of America” and asked to develop sentences based upon those letters. For example, “U is for ___” and “N is for ___.” Classes brainstormed vocabulary words and phrases that exemplify an American freedom, privilege, dream or right, said Principal Michelle Marino. The chosen word completed the respective sentence.
Classes had “free reign” as to how they wanted to decorate or illustrate their page using student illustrations, photographs, pieces of literature, according to Mrs. Marino. The pages will be posted for display and photographed for binding into a book to be shared with the students, classes and parents.
Washington Primary School honored local heroes by writing letters of thanks and mailing the missives to fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, police officers, etc.
Nathaniel Woodhull Intermediate School
Nathaniel Woodhull Intermediate School conducted a special ceremony on the grassy field adjacent to the sixth grade wing. United States Marines who served in Iraq participated in the event in full uniform dress. There was a flag ceremony, including a salute and short speeches focusing on 9/11 and America by Principal Mary Stokkers and Assistant Principal Jarrett Stein.
Woodhull students and staff observed a moment of silence for those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. “Taps” was performed by Woodhull music teacher Tara Adams.
J. Taylor Finley Middle School
The 9/11 ceremony at J. Taylor Finley Middle School featured a flag lowering service and balloon release at the flagpole at 8 a.m. A touching poem was read over the school’s public address system. A moment of silence was observed in offices, classrooms, hallways and every other area throughout the building.
Huntington High School
A short 9/11 commemoration was held at Huntington High School during third period classes. Faculty and staff members who have served or are still serving in the military were asked to report to the lobby in uniform. The day’s program included the singing of “God Bless America” along with a short commentary, poem reading and the playing of “Taps.”
Source: Public Information Office