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July 14, 2011
4 Action Initiative Releases K - 12 Curriculum
Aidan Salamone, who was only four years old when his father John died on September 11, 2011, urged teachers "to take the risk and teach me what I need to know to face and handle the challenges of the future." Poised and eloquent, Aidan spoke at the launch of the 4 Action Initiative's curriculum Learning from the Challenges of Our Times: Global Security, Terrorism and 9/11 in the Classroom.
The project was conceived by Aidan's mother, Maryellen Salamone, a co-founder of Families of September 11. The event at Liberty Science Center of July 14, 2011, marked the culmination of three years of effort by a remarkable collaboration of volunteers. The resulting curriculum provides opportunities for teachers to help students to explore one of the most challenging issues facing the world today, and to give them the tools needed to take positive action through service and volunteerism.
"Events of terror and horror must be discussed and not just brushed over," said David Hespe, the VP STEM Education at Liberty Science Center.
Aidan, joined by his siblings and Mom, spoke of the importance for teachers to be brave and tackle difficult topics, like morality, terrorism and conflicting cultures, so that he and his peers could become the leaders of the future.
"I was a hopeless idealist before 9/11," said Salamone, "And I still am. I believe we can have peace on earth, but there can't be peace without knowledge. We must teach the next generation. They must have the facts and the truth." Other speakers echoed these sentiments.
The comprehensive grade-appropriate resource will provide opportunities for students to explore the most challenging issues facing the world today and give them the tools to take action through service and volunteerism. The curriculum-writers and educators have developed rich lesson plans, each drawing on new and existing curricula, covering multiple subject areas (history, the arts and sciences) ranging from human behavior to activities that help students understand how they can contribute to their communities and the global society.
Later this month the lesson plans will be available on the web site of the 4 Action Initiative. Members of the 4 Action Initiative are Families of September 11, Liberty Science Center and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education.