Education Matters: Students entered to win a trip to New York to visit the 9/11 memorial

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Teachers in the Central Valley continue to educate students about the historic and tragic event of 9/11.

Students who are in high school right now were not yet born when 9/11 happened 22 years ago, but the One Voice Spirit 9-12 art, poetry, and logo contest is designed to educate them about that moment in history.

Sheryl Milhous teaches honors history and English at Alta Sierra Intermediate School. For the past six years, she has given her students this assignment, to participate in the one-voice spirit of 9/12 art and poetry contest.

“I just think they need to understand certain basic things about our country and then certain events that just are monumental,” says Sheryl Milhou.

18-year-old Sarah Ernster is a former student, she said she entered the contest in 8th grade and was last year’s grand prize winner for poetry.

Among the prizes for the award winners, their families, and their teachers, can win a trip to New York to visit the 9/11 memorial.

For Sarah’s teacher, someone who lived through 9/11, there’s a much more emotional experience.

Teachers who have their students participate in the one-voice art and poetry contest do it because they say they want young people who weren’t born when 9/11 happened, to understand the significance of the event.

Josephine Allen teaches art and photography at Roosevelt High School. Her former student Zariah Saldivar won last year’s art contest. The two were among those who went to New York to visit the 9/11 memorial and experienced a much different experience than seeing the one in Clovis.

“The memorial is a very big place. Talking about 9/11 is one thing but then like being in the space where it happened is a whole other thing,” says Zariah Saldivar.

Allen says it’s easy for the students to focus on the tragedy of 9/11, but she also wants them to understand the positive that came from that moment a country united.

Lessons and history continue to be passed down from teacher to student.

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