HILLSBOROUGH: Suzanne Sapega will teach about causes of 9/11

Teachers in North Plainfield schools win grant to delve into terrorism

   Suzanne Sapega, a resident of Hillsborough and a middle school reading teacher in the North Plainfield school district, and four colleagues will receive $4,000 to develop programs to help their school community explore the roots of terrorism.
   The group has been selected by the “For Action Initiative,” begun after the Twin Tower and other attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Its mission is to raise awareness about the effects of public trauma and terrorism, and to educate teachers and youth about the history of terrorism, international relations, global security and domestic and international policies.
   ”The events of 9/11 are a difficult issue for students to process,” said Ms. Sapega. “This project creates a way to connect to this tragedy in a safe, constructive, and meaningful way.”
   Activities will be rolled out on 9/11 and continue through the school year. They span mathematics, social studies, art and music, student clubs, civics and reading, including:
   • An iMovie project for the class of 2017, who will be seniors on the 15th anniversary of 9/11/01. This initiative will chronicle interviews and serve as an artifact of civic activities.
   • A research project focusing on the international responses to 9/11 through monuments and the arts. Students will work with fine and performing arts staff and the results will be compiled into a larger display.
   • A voter registration drive by high school cheerleaders;
   • Studying the causes of terrorism, learning about acts of terror in history and exploring the impact of 9/11.
   • Incorporating volunteer opportunities into student clubs.
   Ms. Sapega’s fellow team members are high school English teacher Michele Armento of Morristown; middle and high school librarian Susan Feibush of Watchung; social studies teacher Michael Mulry of Westfield, and Dr. Hope Blecher, of North Plainfield, District K-12 supervisor of language arts literacy, social sciences and Media services.
   The group hopes to inspire young people to take action — as individuals and as part of their community — and support efforts that someday might prevent future acts of global terrorism.
   For Action says it works to place the events of 9/11 in a meaningful educational context and help students understand more than just what happened that day by teaching about the challenges of terrorism — the concept, history, causes and consequences.