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SEPTEMBER 10, 2021
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. '"
— Mr. Rogers

Twenty years ago, on September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists. Thousands of people lost their lives. It was a sad day for the country and for the families and friends of the people who died. There were many heroes on that day and in the weeks, months and years that followed.

There were thousands of first responders (more on that below) who rushed to the scene to help. Volunteers raised money and donated goods to those affected. In one town, in Newfoundland, Canada, people opened their homes and helped almost 7,000 people who were stranded when the American air space was closed after the attacks. The story of their generosity is told in a musical called "Come From Away," which is being performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial tonight, to commemorate the event.

September 11 is an emotional day for many of us. Though many of our readers were not yet born when it happened, we hope you will take a moment to reflect, to learn, to honor those who we lost as well as those who were “the helpers.”

With love,
The POLITI-Kids Team
Aloise Phelps & Alexa Velickovich


Since his early days on the 2020 presidential campaign, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has talked publicly about his desire to be a father. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and his husband Chasten, were married in June 2018 and shared last month that the couple had become parents after seeking to adopt.

Over the weekend, Buttigieg tweeted a photo of himself and Chasten — each with a baby in his arms.

“Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents,” the secretary wrote on Twitter. “We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family.” Joseph, was Buttigieg’s father’s name, who died just six months after Buttigieg’s wedding.

As you may remember, the U.S. Senate confirmed Buttigieg as secretary of Transportation in February, marking a major milestone for LGBTQ+ representation in the government. He’s the first openly gay person to be confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet position.

(Source: POLITICO | Image Source: Twitter)

A person who is among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance. This is a term that's used for police officers, firefighters, EMTs, or anyone else whose job puts them among the people who show up first to help in an emergency or disaster. 

First responders must be trained to deal with all different medical emergencies. There is a lot of stress and uncertainty that goes along with being a first responder, so it is important that they take care of their mental and physical health.

9/11 was the largest convening of emergency personnel in American history and thousands of first responders rushed to the World Trade Center to help.

Q: What musical instrument do you find in the bathroom?

A: A tuba toothpaste

Below is an excerpt from a POLITICO article, along with some questions to help guide your reading. 
To read the full article, click here.
Biden expands vaccine requirements in bid to rein in Covid
By Adam Cancryn and David Lim
September 9, 2021

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced plans to require staff vaccinations at all health facilities that receive federal funding, as part of a sweeping new plan to rein in the coronavirus.

The move represents a dramatic expansion of the administration’s bid to boost vaccination rates among frontline health care workers, and comes as the administration readies a redoubling of efforts to rein in the virus.

The requirement is part of a broader six-part blueprint for combating the pandemic that Biden unveiled. Dubbed “Path out of the Pandemic,” it outlines new initiatives aimed at boosting vaccinations and access to testing, insulating the economy, keeping schools open, expanding mask requirements and improving care for Covid-19 patients.
Biden last month said he would impose staff vaccination requirements on all federally funded nursing homes, a directive expected to cover roughly 15,000 facilities employing 1.3 million people. Now, he is extending the order to a far wider group of providers, including major hospitals across the nation that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding.

Officials anticipate the broader mandate will affect more than 50,000 health facilities and 17 million workers.

Another centerpiece of Biden's plan is an executive order requiring that all federal workers get vaccinated against Covid-19, with no option for being regularly tested as an alternative. That’s an escalation from his earlier encouragement that the federal workforce seek vaccination or be subject to a range of restrictions.
The administration is also developing regulations that will require employers with more than 100 workers to institute requirements that employees get vaccinated or submit to regular testing. Those employers will also be required to give workers paid time off to get vaccinated.

"In total, the new vaccination requirements in the president's plan cover about 100 million workers, that's two-thirds of all workers in the United States," a senior administration official told reporters on Thursday.

The Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are expected to issue a rule "in the coming weeks" that will lay out the exact timeframe for the new requirements. Those who do not comply with the OSHA standard could face fines up to $14,000 per violation, the senior official added.
The new plan comes just two months after Biden held a July Fourth celebration at the White House, where he declared that the nation was close to vanquishing the pandemic.

Since then, cases fueled by the more contagious Delta variant have skyrocketed, and the administration has struggled to chart a clear course through the crisis. The CDC in particular has come under fire over its muddled messaging, including abruptly advising people to once again wear masks indoors and releasing an array of confusing data on the implications of so-called breakthrough Covid-19 cases.
The federal vaccination requirement will apply to all executive branch workers and contractors, bringing the rest of the government in line with the tougher requirements adopted earlier by the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and parts of the health department.

Until Thursday, the rest of the federal workforce had the option to submit to regular testing, mask-wearing and restrictions on travel rather than get vaccinated. That clause will now be eliminated, bringing the entire government in line with the approach that Biden has pushed private-sector companies to adopt.

1. Why did the administration make this new announcement?

2. What is included in the "Path out of the Pandemic" plan? 

3. Can you think of other initiatives that should be included in the plan? If so, what are they? 

4. What is the reasoning behind Biden "extending the order" for vaccination requirements? 

5. Who will this new mandate affect, and when?

6. Do you think the Biden administration is doing enough to end the pandemic? Why or why not? 

(Source: OSHA)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (aka OSHA) is the federal government agency that enforces the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor. 

Congress created OSHA to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, research and assistance on workplace safety.
Use the guided reading questions in blue italics to help gain a deeper comprehension of this week's notable news.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden went back to school this week! After a year of teaching remotely, Dr. Biden began the new semester in person teaching composition writing courses at Northern Virginia Community College, where she has worked since 2009. She is the first first lady to have a full-time job, and as such, Dr. Biden still plans to make appearances and travel on behalf of the White House on days when she is not in the classroom. Why didn't former first ladies hold jobs outside of the White House? Do you think any other first ladies wanted their own careers?

An enormous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed from Virginia's capital city on Wednesday. Crowds cheered as work crews lifted the 21-foot high bronze statue of Lee and his horse — which towered over Richmond for more than a century — to the ground and began cutting it into pieces. Gov. Ralph Northam, who was there to witness the event, said the memorial's removal "was a long time coming," and that it represented “more than 400 years of history that (Virginians) should not be proud of," before congratulating those who supported its removal. Why was the removal of the statue a "long time coming?" What were your thoughts and feelings upon learning there were still Confederate monuments standing? 

Northam ordered the statue’s removal last summer, citing nationwide pain over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The plans were stalled for more than a year by two lawsuits filed by residents opposed to its removal, but rulings last week by the Supreme Court of Virginia cleared the way for the statue to be taken down. How did it make you feel to learn that some people were unsupportive of the monuments removal?

The sculpture sat atop a 40-foot granite pedestal, which has been left behind for now, but as for the future of the Lee statue, the Northam administration has said it is seeking input on what should happen to it next. What do you think should happen to the old statue? What should the new statue be? Design your very own monument using our POLITI-Kids worksheet in our "At Home" section, and send us your best ideas to for a chance to be featured in our next issue!
Submitted by POLITI-Kid Mary West

Hi! My name is Sadie, but everyone calls me Bug. I love to play fetch, show my Kong toy to anyone who comes over and steal socks when my parents aren’t looking. My favorite foods are apples and peanut butter. I’m a pandemic pup, so I love to get into mischief when I feel like I’m not getting enough attention. 

Do you want your pet to be next Paw-litico of the week?
Send us a photo and a bio to
Adapted from ConceptisPuzzles
Yummy Sudoku
Post Image
– Pizza dough
– Pizza sauce
– Cheese
– 9 different toppings. We suggest:
– Olives
– Fresh basil leaves
– Potato
– Onion
– Garlic
– Pepperoni
– Zucchini
– Sausage
– Spinach for the 9 toppings

1. Roll out your pizza dough and shape into a square.

2. Cover with sauce and cheese.

3. Using long kabob stick, or other kitchen tool, mark off nine even sized squares on your pizza.

4. Carefully align your first topping in each square, making sure the way you arrange it is different in each of the nine squares.

Yummy Sudoku 9 steps

5. Repeat with all 9 toppings and pay close attention to the order.

6. Bake your pizza to a golden brown.

8. Share with your friends and family and test their sudoku knowledge! 
Adapted from 9/11Memorial
Numerous paper origami cranes of many colors hang from a classroom ceiling. In the background is a bookcase and several brightly colored pillows propped against the classroom wall.
In Japanese culture, cranes are mystical animals that symbolize long life and healing. There is a legend that if you fold a thousand paper cranes, you will be granted a wish or recover from an injury. Chains of colorful paper cranes were a familiar sight across Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11. 

– Paper
– Scissors

1. Find a piece of paper—it can be plain, patterned, colorful—whatever you have at home works!

2. If necessary, use scissors to cut your paper into a square.

3. Fold your piece of paper in half and open and then fold in half the other way. Turn the paper over and do the same thing.

4. Using the creases you have made, bring the top 3 corners of the paper down to the bottom corner and flatten.

5. Fold triangular flaps into the center and unfold. 

6. Fold top downwards, crease well, and unfold.

7. Open the uppermost flap of the model, bringing it upwards and pressing the sides of the model inwards at the same time. Flatten and crease well. 

8. Turn the model over and repeat steps 5-7.

9. Fold top flaps into the center. Repeat on other side.

10. Inside reverse fold the “legs” along the creases you just made and side reverse fold one side to make a head, then fold down the wings.

11. Invite someone in your home to fold a crane with you to make a chain or take a photo of your crane and post the picture to social media using the hashtag #911MuseumEd.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the following POLITICO'sPOLITI-Kids and celebrities. Is your birthday coming up? Let us know by submitting your name and date of birth here!

September 10: Laura Miller, Halley Toosi, Tiffany Cheung, Misty Copeland, Colin Firth

September 11: Eileen McKenna, James Marshall, Joe Schatz, Lily Rosenfield, Taraji P. Henson, Ludacris, Kygo

September 12: Ben Schreckinger, Walt Houseknecht, Jennifer Hudson, 2 Chainz, Emmy Rossum, Yao Ming

September 13: Katie Wilson, Lindsay Knight, Robyn Brigham, Andrew Benzer, Ben Leonard, Jeremy Dillon, Kate Ling, Niall Horan, Lili Reinhart, Tyler Perry, Roald Dahl, Stella McCartney

September 14: Christy Ubieta, Kevin Bogardus, Amy Winehouse

September 15: Kathryn Wolfe, Hung-Su Nguyen, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex, Lisa Vanderpump, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tom Hardy, Marco Polo, Ben Schwartz

September 16: Kevin Yamamura, Ester Wells, Xinran Xu, Amy Poehler, Nick Jonas, B.B. King, Flo Rida, Marc Anthony, Alexis Bledel

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