September 11 Forum: Impact on Young Children

September 11 Forum: Impact on Young Children

October 6, 2011, 9 am – 4 pm
The Fred Rogers Center, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA

As the 10th anniversary of September 11 nears, many events will examine the impact of this day. Few of these discussions will focus on children ages 5-9, even though young children will be exposed to the images and stories of September 11th. Responding to their questions and reactions can be difficult for parents, educators, student-teachers and community workers (i.e. social services, mental health, hospice, clergy, scouts).  September 11 Forum: Impact on Young Children will address how to respond to these concerns.

The forum will begin with the news and information that a child hears and sees about September 11 and Flight 93. Presenting the story and how young children might react to that story sets the stage for how adults might respond to their concerns and questions. The principles and concepts presented can be generalized and applied to other difficult situations such as grief, loss, tragic news, etc.

The forum is sponsored by Saint Vincent College and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, the National Park Service and the Friends of Flight 93 (a nonprofit organization of volunteers partnered with the National Park Service to fulfill the mission of Flight 93 National Memorial).  The event is organized by the Friends of Flight 93 Education Committee with a planning team that includes representatives from the three sponsoring organizations, The Fred Rogers Company, and the Greater Latrobe School District.

We anticipate approximately 175 attendees with planned audience participation throughout the day. The modes of presentation will vary to hold interest and attention. Participant cost of $20 includes meals.  There will be several displays on September 11 and Children, including actual tributes children have left at the Flight 93 site. This event is Act 48 and DPW approved through PAEYC (Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children). For more information or to register online click here or direct registration inquiries to the Event and Conference Services Office at Saint Vincent College, 724-805-2177.

In conjunction with the September 11 Forum: Impact on Young Children, Saint Vincent College Threshold Series will present Jere Longman, author of New York Times best-seller Among the Heroes, the story of United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back. The lecture will be held at 7:30 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011 at the Fred M. Rogers Center, free admission, reservations required by email only:

Agenda for the Day
8:00-9:00 am   Registration

9:00-9:10 am   Welcoming Remarks
• Master of Ceremonies: Lladel Lichty, Board of Directors, Friends of Flight 93
• Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., President, Saint Vincent College

9:10-10:40 am   Session 1: Introduction and The Story
• Introduction - Gordon Felt, President of Families of Flight 93 (brother of Edward Felt, passenger)
• The Story of Flight 93 – Jeff Reinbold, National Park Service Site Manager, Flight 93 National Memorial

10:40 – 10:50 am   Break

10:50 am-12:20pm   Session 2: How Children React to Tragic Events Panel
Dr. Roberta Schomburg, Associate Dean of Education, Carlow University, will moderate a panel of speakers presenting the child’s perspective on what they see & hear about September 11. There will be time for questions and comments to panel members after presentations.
• Dr. Schomburg will begin by framing these discussions with an overall developmental perspective at various ages: potential issues & sensitivities at each stage of development.
• Karen Miller, 2nd grade teacher, Shanksville-Stonycreek School District, will share children’s reactions, questions the day of the event, and subsequent anniversaries.
• Adam Shaffer, National Park Service Ranger, will share his experiences hosting children at the site
• Andrea Lurier, Program Manager, Highmark Caring Place will close with connections between what these stories tell us and what we know about the grieving and healing process.

12:20-12:30 pm   Remarks
Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, O.S.B, Chancellor, Saint Vincent College

12:30-1:30 pm   Lunch: displays will be open and available for viewing

1:30-3:45 pm   Session 3: How to Respond to Children’s Needs
Steve Woods, retired Child Grief Specialist, The Highmark Caring Place will moderate this session on responding to the children’s needs. There will be time for questions and comments after the presentations.
• Hedda Sharapan, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, The Fred Rogers Company: to offer Fred Rogers’ approach, a children’s version of the story of Flight 93, and website postings of tools for use
• Dr. Mary Margaret Kerr, Professor of Child Psychiatry and Education, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh: to address the educator and parent perspective

3:45-4:00 pm   Closing Remarks
Gordon Felt, President of Families of Flight 93 (brother of Edward Felt, passenger on Flight 93)