Children of September 11

The following page represents information gathered under the Children of September 11 website, an initiative of Families of September 11.

Page Contents


Children, Trauma and Grief

The National Alliance for Grieving Children
The National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) provides a network for nationwide communication between hundreds of children's bereavement support professionals and volunteers who want to share ideas, information and resources with each other to better support the families they serve in their own communities. Through this network, the NAGC offers online education, hosts an annual symposium on children's grief, maintains a national data base of children's bereavement support programs and promotes national awareness to enhance public sensitivity to the issues impacting grieving children and teens.

Grief &
This site is dedicated to the belief that our personal grief can lead to our personal growth and a widening of awareness and caring for all of those around us who suffer loss. The process of bereavement leads us on a path to greater understanding and acceptance of the cycle of life and death. From this understanding and greater caring the bereaved are able to bring a new perspective into their lives and a new gift into their worlds. Through this process they renew themselves and their communities, while preserving the meaning of the life of the person they have lost. The Grief & Renewal website offers articles, questions and answers, personal experiences and essays about the journey through grief.

Tips for Talking to Children in Trauma
Helpful suggestions about how to speak with children who have recently experienced psychological trauma. This fact sheet has been prepared by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services.

A Guide to Children's Grief: By Kenneth Doka
Kenneth J. Doka is a senior consultant for the Hospice Foundation of America and a professor of gerontology at The College of New Rochelle in New York. On this PBS website he offers suggestions on how to understand children's losses and grief.

A Teacher's Guide to Grief
A helpful article for teachers who want to understand and helpfully assist in the grieving process for students who have suffered trauma or loss. Written for the PBS website by Edward Grassel a guidance counselor at the New York City Lab School.

Helping Children Cope With Trauma
A psychologist at Tel Aviv University has developed a program to help children learn techniques to avoid psychological disabilities that may arise from stress. The method can be useful for children who grow up in the midst of political conflict, such as war or terrorism. Click on link to learn more.

Parents' Reactions Critical to How Children Cope With Trauma
Parents have a major influence on how children react to and recover from traumatic experiences. Click on link to read article.

Young Children Deeply Impacted by Traumatic Events
Parents and mental health experts have long assumed that witnessing a disaster has less emotional impact on little children because they are too young to comprehend it. An ongoing study of New York City children who were 5 or younger when they witnessed the 9/11 attacks has proved that false. Click on link to learn more.

David Baldwin’s Trauma Information Pages
This website focuses primarily on emotional trauma and traumatic stress, including PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) and dissociation, whether following individual traumatic experience(s) or a large-scale disaster.

2009 Clinical Guidelines For Children and Adolescents Exposed to The World Trade Center Disaster
This publication, compiled by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will assist health care providers in identifying, evaluating and treating symptoms related to exposure to the WTC disaster among children and provide resources for additional information and referrals.

Psychological First Aid
Psychological First Aid was developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Designed to be administered by a mental health professional, it is an evidence-based approach to care for survivors in the immediate aftermath of disaster or terrorism. Psychological First Aid is designed to reduce the levels of distress in survivors and to promote both short-term and long-term adaptive functioning and coping following a traumatic event. Click link to learn more.

Talking With Children About Violence
Tragic events such as the recent shootings in Tucson, Arizona cause all of us to question our basic assumptions that the world is a safe place. Children are particularly vulnerable to news and media coverage which most often magnifies the horror, but does little to restore a sense of stability and safety. Unfortunately it can be difficult for parents to feel comfortable in talking with and reassuring their children about the event and the world we live in. For some suggestions, click on the link to read an excellent article on how to help children cope with violent events.

Post Traumatic Growth and Resilience
Certain children are more likely than others to grow after disasters or tragedies. The ability to maintain a sense of hope and optimism is helpful. Click on link to learn more.

The Role of Resilience in Resolving Grief
Resilience has profound implications for people's concepts of themselves, especially after suffering a severe stressor event. The idea also has important implication for how the therapeutic community thinks of bereavement and treats bereavement. Professor George Bonnano of Columbia University, has been looking into how people cope with distressing experiences and set about healing deep psychological wounds. Click on link to learn more.

The Tenth Commemoration: Talking With Children About the Issues of 9/11
The New School Year and September 11th Helping Children Navigate the Words and Images of 9/11, an article by Donna Gaffney, DNSc, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN Advisory Board, Families of September 11. Click on link to read article.

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Trauma and Schools

Support for Students Exposed to Trauma: The SSET Program
Exposure to community and interpersonal violence is a public health crisis and adversely affects many children in our country and in our communities. Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET) is a series of ten support groups that use a structured approach to reduce distress resulting from exposure to violence. It was designed to be implemented by teachers or school counselors who have an interest in the mental health of their students and have good rapport with their students.

A Guide for Schools After Disaster Strikes
The RAND Corporation issued a guide that shows how to provide school-based mental health programs for students exposed to violence, natural disasters and other traumatic events. "How Schools Can Help Students Recover From Traumatic Experiences: A Tool-Kit for Supporting Long-Term Recovery" enables schools to help students displaced by natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and moves beyond the short-term responses typically taken by schools after disasters strikes.

National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement
The staff of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement collaborate with professional organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies and community groups to further help students, staff and families at times of crisis and loss.

National Association of School Psychologists
This organization provides a variety of resources for parents, schools, and mental health professionals.

Uncommon Sense, Uncommon Courage
How the New York City school system, its teachers, leadership and students responded to the terror of September 11
Learn how nine thousand students and staff were successfully evacuated from eight schools in close proximity to the former World Trade Center and how one million students were successfully reunited with their loved ones. This comprehensive report was prepared by the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School for Public Health at Columbia University. Former FOS11 Board member Gregory Thomas and Director for the Program of School Preparedness and Planning contributed to and wrote the foreword to this important report.

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Camps for Children Affected by Grief and Trauma

Project Common Bond brings together teens, ages 15 - 20 from around the world who share a 'common bond'--the loss of a family member due to an act of terrorism.

Camp Erin
Camp Erin, a bereavement camp for children between the ages of 6 and 17 who have experienced the death of a loved one, is a weekend-long experience filled with traditional camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support facilitated by grief professionals and trained volunteers. It was created by the Moyer Foundation started by major league all-star pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen. The Moyer Foundation partners with expert local hospice and grief counseling organizations in the communities where the camps are implemented and funds the camp partner over a ten-year period, ensuring that the program becomes an important part of ommunity healing and growth. For information visit the foundation's website.

America's Camp
America’s Camp is a fun, high quality, one-week, sleep away camp for children who lost a parent or sibling as a result of the attacks on September 11 and for children or siblings of firefighters and law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty at any time. For information about the camp and enrollment, families can contact Beth Griffin at 1-800-548-6295 or e-mail her at the camp office at or visit the camp website above.

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Scholarships for Children Affected by 9/11

The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund
Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund has been able to transform the lives and support the educational dreams of financially dependent children, spouses and domestic partners of those who were tragically killed on September 11, 2001. Beneficiaries of the Fund include families of airplane crews and passengers, World Trade Center and Pentagon workers and visitors, and those who were permanently disabled. The Fund is managed by Scholarship America, the nation’s largest non-profit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization.

The CFA Institute September 11 Memorial Scholarship Program
The CFA Institute and The Research Foundation of CFA Institute have established a scholarship program to assist dependent children, spouses or domestic partners of those persons who died or were permanently disabled or victims permanently disabled as a direct result of the 11 September 2001 attacks, who plan to pursue education in college or vocational school programs now or in the future. Scholarships are offered each year for part-time or full-time undergraduate study in finance, economics, accounting or business ethics majors at an accredited institution of the student's choice. This scholarship program is administered by Scholarship Management Services®, a division of Scholarship America®. Scholarship Management Services is the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability or national origin.

Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation Scholarship
The Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation will award college scholarships to the children of: New York City Firefighters, victims of September 11 2001 and victims of other disasters and fires. Interested applicants should visit to obtain an application and review the candidate selection process. A written request for an application may also be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: The Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation PO Box 132, Bronx, NY 10465

Scholarship America
Scholarship America is the nation's largest private sector scholarship and educational support organization. Through the Families of Freedom Fund, it provides postsecondary education assistance through the year 2030 to dependents of those killed or permanently disabled as a result of the September 11 attacks. Families of Freedom 2 is the second scholarship fund created by Scholarship America. It provides scholarships for postsecondary education for families in Lower Manhattan south of Houston Street who suffered loss of income as a result of the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Educational assistance will also be offered to spouses and dependent children of these individuals. For more information, call (877) 862-0136 or visit the website.
Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund

NASFAA 9/11 Scholarship Programs,_Terrorism,___Natural_Disasters.aspx
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators provides a list of scholarship funds created for families of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The website presents an overview of available funds, including organization scholarships, college-based scholarships, and summer programs.

New York State World Trade Center Memorial Scholarships
The WTC Memorial Scholarship guarantees access to a college education for the families and financial dependents of innocent victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of the September 11 attacks. For more information on the scholarship, click on the link above or call (888) NYS-HESC.

The Sallie Mae 911 Education Fund
This fund provides scholarship dollars for postsecondary education to children of those who died or suffered debilitating injuries in the September 11 terrorist attacks. In addition, the fund provides grants to spouses of those killed or deemed permanently disabled so they can pay off their Sallie Mae loans. Visit the website to download guidelines and application forms.

Silver Shield Foundation
This support resource for families of police officers and firefighters is offering academic scholarships to those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. Call (800) 811-4692.

Vantagepoint Public Employee Memorial Scholarship Fund
This fund was established to assist children and/or spouses of deceased public employees who died in the line of duty, and who plan to continue education in college or vocational school programs.

The United Kingdom 9/11 Scholarships Fund
Established jointly by the British Council and the World Trade Center Disaster Fund, this fund provides awards for study in higher or further education in the United Kingdom to children or dependents of victims of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Scholarships are offered for full-time study leading to a degree (undergraduate or graduate), or the equivalent, at a recognized institution in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland). There are no restrictions on age, nationality, or on residence in countries. Applicants must have lost a parent or guardian as a result of the terrorist attacks, be able to demonstrate need, hardship, or distress, and be in good academic standing. Visit the website for more information.

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