None of the students had even been born 10 years ago when terrorist attacks on the United States bred fear throughout the land.
But innovative educators at Plainview'sfound a way Friday to teach their students about Sept. 11 by reassuring them of their safety and of the nation's historic ability to overcome great adversity.
The entire student body of 1st-4th graders at Parkway planted tiny American flags -- 360 of them, one for each student -- on the school's front lawn Friday morning surrounding its main flagpole. The Stars and Stripes fluttered above them at half staff throughout the moving ceremony complete with Plainview firefighters, Nassau County police and stirring patriotic music sung by children.
"We knew we had to be sensitive to the children's well-being," said Principal Ronelle Hershkowitz. "We gave them the information they needed about what happened, but reassured them that they are protected and really safe."
Hershkowitz said the initial idea for a program was spawned by 3rd Grade teacher Lori Stitt and became a school-wide project. The school wanted to send another message, by inviting local police and firefighters to the ceremony.
"We told them we live in a strong country that comes back from negative events," Hershkowitz said.
In attendance were Plainview schools Superintendent Gerard W. Dempsey and many members of the school board, Nassau Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) and Oyster Bay Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia of Plainview.
Plainview's firefighters brought a glimmering fire truck to the event, joined by a Nassau police supervisor's vehicle.