Archdiocese Uses Book On Aviation Courage to Teach Students
December 7, 2007

Garden City News

Reclaiming The Sky Bookcover
"Reclaiming the Sky" tells the story of aviation courage on 9/11. This winter the book will be used in a pilot program by the New York Archdiocese to teach students "service principles" before they begin their school volunteer projects.

What can high school students learn about the value of service from the selflessness of aviation workers who showed courage in recovering from 9/11?

The thought is a lot - as will be demonstrated when the NY Archdiocese introduces a pilot program in January, 2008 with Tom Murphy, a Garden City writer and the author of the book, "Reclaiming the Sky: 9/11 and the Untold Story of the Men and Women Who Kept America Flying," to teach high school students "service principles" before they begin their volunteer work.

Currently many high schools in the NY Archdiocese promote volunteer service as a requirement for graduation - but some don't provide a formal program to orient students before they begin their assignments. This program, called "Doing for Others," taken from the theme of the book "moving forward by doing for others," allows students to read the book and identify ways to apply the principles to enhance their volunteer experience and gain "life benefits" from their efforts.

Said Dr. Mary Jane Krebbes, Associate Secretary of Education, "The stories of aviation courage reflect service principles so strongly that we believe the book will be warmly received by students before they begin their volunteer work in their home communities."

The "pilot" program kicks off in January with three high schools, including schools on Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx. The goal is to test the program this winter, then secure resources to expand the model to other schools in the NY Archdiocese, and to dioceses throughout the NY area, including Long Island, next fall.

In addition, Murphy is working with Fordham University's Graduate School of Education to explore ways to expand the program into a national model through Fordham's Center for Catholic School Leadership.

For more information about the Reclaiming the Sky program, "Doing for Others," visit

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