9/11 Children's Workbook: Offensive or Respectful?

Kamboukos, whose organization provides help to the spouses and children of people who died in the terror attacks, agrees that, especially around the 9/11 anniversary, the images of the terror attacks are so pervasive that it becomes impossible to entirely shield children and control what they learn.

Her advice is to monitor what kids watch in the media and be available to answer their questions simply and directly.

Kamboukos worries that allowing smaller children to associate the attacks with word games and connect-the-dots could trivialize the events for children who don't have firsthand memory of them.

Regardless of how one feels about the activity book, Modlin's charitable efforts started in the right place.

After the terror attacks, Modlin organized a celebrity ice skating show called "Stars, Stripes and Skates" as a fundraiser.

Nancy Kerrigan was there, and other figure skating greats, such as Sarah Hughes and Todd Eldredge, have taken part as well.

Proceeds went to helping find those missing in the attacks. The event was a success, raising $200,000, and "Stars, Stripes and Skates" has become an annual event, grossing close to $500,000 since 2001, according to www.starsstripesandskates.org.

This year's event is slated for Oct. 22.

In addition to the activity book, the 9/11 Families Give Back Fund sends kids to baseball games with firefighters and police officers.

"They might not even have anything to do with 9/11, but they can ask the police officer what happened that day. And that makes the kids more aware," Modlin said.

A New Jersey blogger who got a copy of the activity book at his niece's ice skating event that was sponsored by the 9/11 Families Give Back Fund scanned the booklet and put it on the Internet.

On the Web site http://asphalteden.livejournal.com/169350.html, he supplied the following caption, "I wish I could tell you that this is a tacky parody. Please note that it is appropriate 'for ages 4 & up.' I think we can all agree that any commentary I might write seems unnecessary. Yes, we live here."

Modlin is not deterred. She plans to tinker some more with the activity books and hopefully run them in color for distribution at events sponsored by 9/11 Families Give Back Fund.

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