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Impact of 9/11 on Young Children Topic of Forum

Posted: Thursday Aug 4, 2011

The impact of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on young children will be the topic of a special forum for parents, educators, student-teachers and community workers sponsored by Saint Vincent College, The Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, the National Park Service and the Friends of Flight 93 to be held at the Fred M. Rogers Center at Saint Vincent from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, October 6.

“As the 10th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy nears, many events will examine the impact of this day,” noted Mrs. Ginny Barnett, coordinator of the forum. “But few of these discussions will focus on children ages 5 to 9, even though young children will be exposed to the images and stories of 9/11, especially with the opening of the Flight 93 Memorial this fall. Responding to their questions and reactions can be difficult for parents and others who spend time with children. This forum 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,” Mrs. Barnett continued. “The principles and concepts presented can be generalized and applied to other difficult situations such as grief, loss, and tragic news.”

Featured speakers will include Gordon Felt, president of Families of Flight 93; Jeff Reinbold, site manager of the Flight 93 National Memorial; Dr. Roberta Schomburg, associate dean of education at Carlow University; Steve Woods, retired child grief specialist, The Highmark Caring Place; Hedda Sharapan, director of early childhood initiatives, The Fred Rogers Company; and Dr. Mary Margaret Kerr, professor and department chair, University of Pittsburgh School of Education.

Remarks will also be offered by Lladel Lichty of the Friends of Flight 93; Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B., president of Saint Vincent College; and Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, chancellor of Saint Vincent College.

Cost to attend the Forum is $20 which includes continental breakfast and luncheon. The deadline for registration is Monday, September 26 but early registration is advised due to limited seating. Direct registration inquiries to the Event and Conference Services Office at Saint Vincent College, 724 805-2177.