"September 12th" book still rings true for students in Kennett - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

"September 12th" book still rings true for students in Kennett

KENNETT, MO (KFVS) - Ten years after September 11, a book written by Kennett first graders called: September 12th, continues to make an impact all over the world.

It was a book to let students know life would go on, a teacher's simple concept to help her class unite and move forward.

Today those student authors, now Juniors in High School read the book to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grader students at South Elementary in Kennett.

"It's hard to believe some of these children were not even born yet," said Bryce McPherson, one of the authors.

Yet, ten years ago, and today students feel the words of the award-winning book still remain as relevant today as they did ten years ago.

"On September 12th, they knew everything would be alright."

"It seems more tragic today," said Josh Harmon, one of the authors. "I didn't really understand what was going on then."

It was a time when our nation, young and old, struggled to understand what was happening. So, Darlene Robertson decided to help her first grade students at Byron Masterson Elementary by focusing on the simple things that make us feel secure.

"She said everything would be alright, that we were save," a young Anna Kay Hilburn told us just after the book's first printing in 2001.

Now, she has this to say: "Everything in the book is still true. It's not the end," said Anna Kay, quoting from the last page of the book. "We haven't stopped pushing forward. America hasn't stopped pushing forward."

"It's not just true for Kennett," said Cameron Harper. "This book means a lot to people all over the world."

The students have the letters to prove it. They've heard from presidents and dignitaries in the United States and abroad, as well as students, teachers, and strangers.

The book won an award through Scholastics and sent the students on a dream vacation to New York City. The book is about to be reprinted for the tenth anniversary.

Now, they share the book with young students who are just beginning to understand the meaning of 9-11-01.

"I'm sure we are a big influence on them," said McPherson. "We want to teach them that everything is going to be alright and they can take a negative experience and turn it into something positive. We ended up staying stronger and having an amazing year after so many sad things happened."

"It was a good book to read," said Delexion Rowe, a third grade student. "It made me feel comfortable when they read it."  

"They wrote the book, they drew the pictures," said Jack Dalton. "They understand it."

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