Community in the Classroom
Remembering 9/11: A Community Read Programs Sets the Tone for the School Year with READ 180 Students

16 years ago, our country watched in disbelief as the attacks on the World Trade Center unfolded before our eyes, broadcasted across the United States. For today’s generation of students though, there is a veil of mystery behind the events that took place that fateful September morning. 

Thanks to a program by the Tiffin-Seneca Library, Tiffin Middle School students will be reading the book “Thunder Dog” by Michael Hingson as part of their Community Read initiative. Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade will be reading Michael’s story along side the community in Tiffin. Each year the Community Read program encourages residents to read a book, then come together to think, share, and engage. Each year I welcome READ 180 students back with the opportunity to participate in the Community Read program and take a closer look at the selected novel as a class read aloud.

I became personally invested in this project while in my READ 180 class last fall. I realized during our discussion, that my students had very little understanding of the events that took place on 9/11. In his book, Michael describes that day from a very different perspective than other survivors. Michael’s enthralling story is centered around his lifelong determination and perseverance to live in a sighted world during a time when barriers existed for those in the blind community. His companionship with his guide dog Roselle is endearing to all readers. Through his narrative, students witness 9/11 through Michael’s senses as he relays the events that took place on September 11th, 2001.

Yesterday, in remembrance of 9/11, students, faculty, and staff from Tiffin Middle School were fortunate to attend a memorial ceremony at the All Patriot’s Memorial in Tiffin, Oh. Students heard from families impacted by the events, the choir sang, and students were able to see one of the recovered beams from the World Trade Center. READ 180 students were selected to present a gift to the Tiffin Police and Fire Department to thank them for their service in our community.

Throughout the year Tiffin Middle School students will be reading “Thunder Dog” in preparation for Michael’s visit in March.  Stay tuned for an update in March about Michael’s visit.

When do you use read aloud novels in your classroom?   What are some of your favorite books to read with students?  Comment below!

Tiffin, OH

"If you do not like to read, you haven't found the right book" - JK Rowling.