Plan for 9/11 Themed Children's Activity Book in the Spotlight

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It is a show that emphasizes the positive: Stars, stripes and skates. The annual ice extravaganza put on by the Heritage Foundation of 9/11 to teach about the tragedy and its aftermath.

But now the group has another project: Developing a children's activity book to teach about 9/11. It contains a 911 themed crossword puzzle, trivia questions and a connect the dots puzzle that shows the skyline before that day.

The activities may be game-like but its creators say the intent is serious.

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    Tara Modlin, Stars Stripes and Skates: "It's certainly not a game. It's a teaching tool, so it's something to be taught in school. We're teaching about the historica significance of the event, but at the same time we want kids to want to learn about it."

    But some question the approach, including Dr. Joel McClough of New York University's Child Study Center.

    Dr.Joel McClough, NYU Child Study Center: "Well I think associating something that's so fun in a game with something that's so serious and so tragic runs the risk of perhaps trivializing the true meaning and significance of it."

    We showed the booklet to several parents of young children. Some said they thought it was fine, that it uses the same learning techniques they see in their school books. Others said it trivializes the event, and makes it a "fun thing."

    The Heritage Foundation emphasizes that the book is still in the planning stages. There will be changes but they say once it is finalized, they have great expectations for it.

    Modlin: "I hope to distribute it not only in New York and other states but worldwide. Our dreams are as big as they can get."

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