Shiloh Teacher Receives World Trade Center Award
Release Date: 2/3/2009 3:35:31 PM
Michael Chrvala, an 8th grade U.S. history teacher at Shiloh Middle School, has been chosen as one of four recipients of the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center Annual Teacher Award for 2008-2009. This award is given in recognition of teachers who have made an outstanding effort to discuss the events of September 11th with their students and to create projects that helped students understand their relationship to these events.
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Chrvala organized a fundraiser to donate to several FDNY companies that lost members at the World Trade Center. The entire school is involved in this “Hats for Heroes” project. On the anniversary, all students can wear a hat during the school day once they make a $1 donation. The money is equally divided between an FDNY company and the Firefighter Stephen Siller “Let Us Do Good” Children’s Foundation. In addition, students and staff purchase memorial bracelets and participate in the annual Tunnel to Towers Run, which honors the members of the FDNY who were lost on September 11th, as well as all the victims of the attacks.
Chrvala says, “I believe that it is my job as a teacher to make certain that my students have an opportunity to study September 11th; to understand the goodness, dedication, and selflessness of the rescuers; and to commemorate all the lives lost.” He uses videos, readings, and discussion in his classroom to help his students understand the importance of that day, to look for the positives in such a terrible event, and to develop ways to honor the memories of those lost. In May 2008, Chrvala led 42 eighth grade students on a field trip to visit the Tribute Center and the World Trade Center site. These students were selected based on their completion of a writing assignment related to visiting the Tribute Center, as well as their academic, attendance, and discipline records.
Each Teacher Award recipient will be recognized with a gift to their school in the amount of $500. These funds have been donated by September 11th family members. The names of the awardees, their school, and a description of their projects will be distributed through a press release and will be posted and described on the Tribute Center website as an inspiration to other educators around the world who are seeking ways to bring the events of September 11th into the curriculum.
Chrvala will attend an award ceremony on Thursday, February 26, 2009 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Tribute Center in New York City. This date marks the anniversary of the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.