By Walter Bagley
More than 200 eighth-graders at Pelham Middle School will be visiting the National September 11th Memorial Museum in Manhattan this Spring as part of a new curriculum introduced to help students gain a better understanding of the national tragedy, in which 10 Pelham residents perished.
The planned visits to the museum this month have been made possible partly due to a generous donation from the Lt. Joseph G. Leavey Foundation, which was created to honor the memory of the FDNY firefighter, a Pelham resident, who was killed in the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
According to Dr. Robert Roelle, the Middle School principal, the school’s eighth grade teachers had been hoping for years to enable their students to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, but until recently the museum was unable to accommodate large groups. Now it can.
“Living only a few miles from Lower Manhattan, it is important our students not only learn about September 11th in their classes and textbooks, but to take the time to visit the site, read the personal stories, and pay respect to those who lost their lives,” Dr. Roelle wrote in a letter to Carole Leavey, Lt. Leavey’s widow and head of the foundation, whose primary goal is to provide scholarships and other financial assistance to Pelham school students.
Mrs. Leavey, who along with her late husband raised three children in Pelham, said she was delighted to be able to provide financial support to enable the students to visit the memorial museum. The foundation’s $5,000 donation will help defray the costs of transportation and admissions for the students.
“Thank you very much for your support and the continuous generosity of the Lt. Joseph G. Leavey Foundation,” Dr. Roelle wrote in his letter to Mrs. Leavey.
The foundation, which has donated some $75,000 to Pelham students over the past 11 years, depends on the donations of interested individuals and fund-raising events, particularly an annual golf outing.
This year’s outing will he held April 24 at the Mahopac Golf and Beach Club in Mahopac.
More information about the foundation and the event can be found at www.ltjosephgleaveyfoundation.com.