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Jennifer L. Semlies

We made it a class project to do "something" that would help. I allowed the class to discuss ideas with each other, and find a way that we could raise money for the families of firefighters who had perished in the attack. My class voted for "freedom bracelets," which they made from red, white and blue beads, and sold in the cafeteria during lunch periods. They sold over two hundred bracelets, and we were able to get Newsday and another corporation to each match our donation.

Not only did the students do something to help (at a time when we all felt helpless), but it served as a bonding experience for all of us " years later, I can honestly say that year's class was the most tight-knit community of learners that I have ever had the opportunity to teach.

I will never forget the tragedy we faced that day, but I choose to remember the closeness and sense of community that resulted among my students and the school community as a whole.