07/14/2011 03:31 pm ET Updated Sep 13, 2011

New Jersey Releases 9/11 Curriculum To Teach About Terror

What is a memory of a shocking and tragic day for many is now a history lesson for students.

The New Jersey Department of Education released today a new set o guidelines that adds the 9/11 terror attacks to the state's K-12 curriculum, in time for the event's 10-year anniversary. Older students can reflect on the event, younger students can learn about it -- those now in the fourth grade or below weren't even born when the attacks occurred.

"This, after all, was the traumatic event of our age. It’s important children understand it, and understand it in all of its ramifications," former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean told The Star-Ledger.

The lessons are not mandatory for New Jersey schools, but Acting State Education Commissioner Chris Cerf told The Star-Ledger that "the program is so strong, I assume many, many schools will use it."

Schools spanning Missouri to France have shown their interest in adopting the curriculum as well, The Inquirer reports.

The curriculum is the product of a three-year project by the 4 Action Initiative, a volunteer group of Families of September 11, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education and Liberty Science Center, former Thomas Kean and many New Jersey teachers.

The document, available on the New Jersey Department of Education's website, outlines lesson plans that range from teaching elementary schoolers about the importance of symbols and K9 "Sirius, the Hero Dog of 9/11" to discussing with high schoolers discrimination against Muslims post 9/11.