WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- As the country commemorates the 20th anniversary of September 11, one local teacher shared with us how she is educating students about the terror attacks in the hopes they never forget.
How do educators approach such a delicate subject as September 11 with students? We spoke with Munger Hill Elementary School fourth grade teacher Stephanie Martell. She said that even though the subject is emotional, it is important to make sure that educators open up that discussion with students.
Martell said exercises such as watching videos and holding discussions afterward or students working together to color a mural to commemorate that fateful day help them grasp what happened on September 11.
“I like to cite Mr. Rogers here who always said, ‘Look for the helpers’ and we put a lot of focus on, look at how this country came together. We worked together and we put aside our differences,” Martell explained.
Martell said she hopes students will think back on that day and remember how many people selflessly gave their lives to help others. She also hopes students know that it is ok to talk about difficult situations and to see others show emotion around them.
Liliana Roselli and Hannah Polan are fourth grade students at Munger Hill Elementary School. They both said they learned how so many risked their lives on that day to help save others.
“I've learned about 9/11 that people risked their lives to save people, strangers helped people, firefighters, policemen…It can get sad sometimes and sometimes people can cry about it. We are grateful that many people survived,” Roselli said.
[Reporter: Who is your hero?]
Polan added, “I think all of the firefighters and the policemen and all of the people who went in and tried to save people knowing their life would be in risk.”
The students said it is important that September 11 be commemorated every year and they were especially pleased that there are memorials to remember those who gave their lives to help others.