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Helping Children Cope With Fears
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Ways Children Can Help
Ways Teens Can Help
Fighting Intolerance

After the attack on the United States on September 11th, many parents and teachers have had to deal with the fact that their children witnessed a very traumatic scene and, in many cases, repeatedly on television. Below are some resources to help parents and teachers work with their children.

Further, President Bush has indicated that the United States is in a state of war and that not only those who participated in the New York City attack, but those who have harbored them, will be held responsible. In addition, administration officials have indicated that the war will be long term since the goal will be to build an international coalition of governments to join together to put an end to all terrorist groups in the world. Given a state of war with all terrorist groups, citizens of the USA can reasonably expect that the attack in New York City was not the end of attempts to hurt American citizens, buildings, or institutions.

  1. Letter from Mrs. Bush to School Children (
      Provides a letter of reassurance from the First Lady to middle and high school students and a second letter to elementary school students.

  2. Request from President Bush (CNN)
      Children can overcome fears about the future by doing something positive. President Bush has made a specific request of our children. He believes that children can help other children and also sow the seeds for peace.

  3. Children's Understanding of Death at Different Ages (National Education Association)
      Summarizes the understanding of death that children often have at different ages.

  4. Helping Children Cope with Trauma (American Red Cross)
      Provides suggestion on what to say to children by age level, as well as recommending what to do. Suggests when professional assistance may be needed.

  5. Helping Kids Cope in a Time of Crisis and Fear (FamilyEducation - Abel)
      Provides suggestions on what to say to children by grade level. For example, it is good for older children to be able to participate in helping in some way, such as writing letters of condolence to families of victims.

  6. Heroes - Fallen Firefighters (IAFF)
      Provides a list of fallen firefighters from the September 11th disaster and provides information to allow attending funerals or sending condolences to funeral homes. If you are in the area, please attend at least one funeral to show support.

  7. How Youth Can Contribute (Constitutional Rights Foundation)
      Provides activities for youth to contribute to those who have helped with the September 11th disaster or who have been overlooked. Examples of people who may have not received much assistance include people who were displaced from their homes and have had little or no time to return for their belongings, people working at airports and airlines who have suffered emotionally or have lost jobs, and people who live alone and have no one to talk to about what happened.

  8. How Children and Teens Can Contribute (Youth Service America) star
      Suggests projects for children and teens to contribute during periods of disaster, including the September 11th tragedy.

  9. How Children and Teens Can Contribute (Red Cross) star
      Suggests specific activities for children and teens to contribute to families affected by the September 11th tragedy.

  10. Links of Compassion (
      Provides a lesson "to present a tangible symbol of the number of lives lost, and a means for the students to 'connect' with surviving family and friends of the victims..."

  11. Teens - Coping With Traumatic Events (Alberta Mental Health Board - Perry)
      Provides suggestions for helping teens handle traumatic events, particularly the September 11th attack against the United States. Tells them what might occur for them and how to deal with each type of reaction.

  12. Helping Children Cope With the September 11th Disaster (Purple Mountain Press)
      Provides suggestions for helping children to respond to the disaster on September 11th, such as doing something to help, discussing how to overcome fear, and discussing positive responses to the situation, including the display of heroism, bravery, and survival skills.

  13. Coping With Unexpected Disasters (American Red Cross)
      Describes different emotional and physical reactions to a disaster. Suggests how to deal with reactions.

  14. Teachers - Helping Children Cope With Traumatic Events (Alberta Mental Health Board - Perry)
      Provides suggestions to teachers for helping students handle traumatic events, particularly the September 11th attack against the United States.

  15. Parents - Helping Children Cope With Traumatic Events (Alberta Mental Health Board - Perry)
      Provides suggestions to teachers for helping children handle traumatic events, particularly the September 11th attack against the United States.

  16. Helping Children Handle Loss - Guide for Teachers ( - Perry)
      Provides suggestions for helping children talk about loss. For example, he suggests "Be sensitive to any inappropriate remarks or teasing from other children. In a discreet way, you can help them to respect the grieving process...."

  17. Helping Young Children Deal With Scary News (PBS)
      Provides suggestions, including some short video clips from Mister Rogers, to help parents help young children feel safer.

  18. Talking to Children About Violence (CNN - Marans)
      Provides an opinion on how to talk to children about what happened in New York City.

  19. Helping Students Cope with Terrorist Attacks (US Department of Education)
      Provides suggestions to teachers and principals to help identify students having difficulty with the events of September 11th and suggestions on actions to take.

  20. Talking to Children About Terrorism - Examples (
      Provides examples of questions and answers that may arise out of the September 11th disaster.

  21. Talking to Children About Terrorism (US Department of Education)
      Provides sources of information for parents and teachers to help them help children deal with terrorism. Also has resources on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  22. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (National Institutes of Mental Health)
      Describes post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), a potentially strong reaction to experiencing or even witnessing a traumatic event. "About 30 percent of the men and women who have spent time in war zones experience PTSD."

  23. Safe Schools (Awesome Library)
      While the disaster in New York City has been an opportunity to pull together as a nation, and as a world, it also provides an opportunity to fight prejudice that arises from such a crisis. Schools and families can assure children and teens that while the assailants may have come from a single region of the world, children and families of Arabian descent or Muslim heritage in the USA are also in grief over the incident--but could be targets of misplaced anger. Teachers and parents can help to prevent the expression of misplaced anger toward innocent children and families in the USA.

  24. Arab Americans - Dispelling Myths (Seattle Times)
      Provides facts about Americans of Arabic heritage and those following the Muslim religion. Explains that most American Arabs are not Muslims and most Muslims are not Arabic. Also provides facts to replace other myths about Arab Americans.

  25. Understanding Ethnic Differences (Awesome Library - Elliott, Adams, Sockalingam)
      Provides a summary of research on ethnic differences in expectations, communication styles, and values to help improve communication. Warns against assuming that you know a person's ethnic affiliation based on his or her physical appearance. In addition, information about groups can help us ask good questions to learn more from an individual, but group information alone cannot provide us with the values, communication style, or expectations of an individual.

  26. World Response to American Crisis (CNN)
      Shows that leaders of almost all nations, even traditional adversaries of the USA, such as Cuba and Libya, support the USA in its time of grief. In the face of such pain, the world has become one home for us all.

    May we find a way to honor each of our heroes, 
    firefighters, police, rescue, and emergency crews.  May it be our honor to care
        for the many in great need.

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