Number of Participants: 100
Hours Donated: 2
Value of Time Served: $1,690
Event Type: Veterans & Military Families
Date: September 11, 2023
Minnesauke Elementary School
Highgate Drive, Setauket- East Setauket
Fifth graders at Minnesauke Elementary School in the Three Village Central School District recently learned about what embodies a hero before meeting one themselves. Around Sept. 11, fifth grade classes read the book, “The Man in the Red Bandana” before participating in a writing-based project. Students learned about the story of Welles Crowther, an equities trader and former firefighter who was working at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Crowther, who always carried a red bandana, lost his life in the attacks but is remembered for the many lives he put before his own and the several people he brought to safety.
Students were asked to reflect on Crowther’s heroic actions and discussed the true meaning of a hero. They wrote about the heroes in their own lives and displayed their essays with red bandanas on bulletin boards throughout the fifth grade hallway.
A Three Village Central School District security guard, Thomas Robinson, was at Minnesauke Elementary School one weekend while on patrol. Mr. Robinson typically works at the North Country Administration Building but visited Minnesauke to respond to an alarm while nobody was in the building. As he was in the building, he noticed all the student work about “The Man in the Red Bandana.”
Mr. Robinson is a retired NYPD officer and was at the World Trade Center the day of the attacks, as well as many days after. He read every single piece from the fifth graders and was moved to write them a note which read in part, “Your assignments made me proud. What a wonderful idea for kids to read about and learn. I’ll be honest, it choked me up a bit.” Mr. Robinson left NYPD patches on each of the bulletin boards as a way to say thank you and offered to speak with the students about his experience.
The fifth graders were able to connect a day that changed American history with an experience of someone in their own community. They learned that heroes put others before themselves and were empowered to “be the helpers” in their own lives.
1 – Three Village security guard Thomas Robinson was moved by a fifth grade project about 9/11. He wrote the fifth graders a note about the project’s importance and left NYPD badges for students.
2 – Mr. Robinson showed students photos of him in the NYPD in the days surrounding Sept. 11, 2001.
Photos courtesy of the Three Village Central School District