When my students see the outpouring of assistance - the blood donations, the search-and-rescue, the donations of food, stuffed animals, flashlights, etc. - they see that the destruction brought something greater than destruction, that day.
The Hope Trunk, loaned to us by the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum, helps students see that the response immense. It also helps them realize that every positive thought, every ribbon, every Happy Meal toy left at the site encourages victims, survivors, and self.
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Yes, the presentation of the 1995 attack is shocking. Yes, the accounts from that day are emotional. Yes, the wounds of Oklahoma City are still open. But when fourth graders can react with the empathy that these students have, our world is made a better place. With every reassuring hand on a shoulder, and with every passed tissue to dry the tears, my students not only realized the pains of the attack, but they felt the need to help one another. Reaching out to one another is just one of the messages I intend to convey in such a presentation.