Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.

Walking to Remember

Paramus, New Jersey, has a thriving Freedom Walk, thanks to the drive of 14-year-old Joey Rizzolo

By Hayley Livingston | September 2 , 2008
14-year-old Joey Rizzolo (left) and James Tedesco, the Mayor of Paramus, New Jersey. (Photo courtesy Joey Rizzolo)
14-year-old Joey Rizzolo (left) and James Tedesco, the Mayor of Paramus, New Jersey. (Photo courtesy Joey Rizzolo)

Fast approaching is the seventh anniversary of a day in history that will never be forgotten: Sept. 11, 2001. Helping to honor those who died, as well as those still fighting for our freedom, is 14-year-old Joey Rizzolo.

Joey is holding his second annual freedom walk in the town of Paramus, New Jersey. His first Freedom Walk, in 2007, drew 450 participants. This year he is anticipating more than 1,000 people. Joey hopes that this event will provide people with the opportunity to enjoy food, music, and speeches, as well as a chance to respect, reflect on, and remember that tragic day in U.S. history.

Many people were lost on Sept. 11, and that affected Joey and his friends tremendously.

"It affects me because one of my really good friend's mom died on September 11, so that was a real big motivation to start the Freedom Walk in Paramus," Joey says. It is this thought that drives Joey as he continues to work to make his Freedom Walk a huge success.

So far, so good. Besides drawing hundreds of people to his walks, Joey received a medal for his exceptional public service. He recently went to Washington, D.C., where he was one of 100 students to receive the Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

But it wasn't easy getting the Freedom Walk to where it is today. In fact, it took several steps. First, he went to his schoolteacher with the idea. She then sent him to the superintendent, who then sent him to the mayor. Once the mayor approved, Joey planned a route and organized a committee to help him out. They fundraised, received donations, and spread the word.

This year's Freedom Walk will be easier to plan than the first one because Joey is following his own advice. His new book, 20 Steps to a Freedom Walk, helps people of all ages (including Joey's) plan their own Freedom Walks in their own communities.

"I thought since I had a little trouble organizing my first Freedom Walk it would be a really great idea if someone my age had a little help to organize their Freedom Walk," Joey says.

This year's Paramus Freedom Walk will be held on September 7. There will be entertainment and many people around who feel the same as Rosa Rizzolo, Joey's mother: "People will never forget," she says. "They're not going to forget September 11."

Read more about Freedom Walks in the America Supports You Freedom Walks Special Report!


Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from Scholastic News Online.


About the Author

Hayley Livingston is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Guided Reading Short Reads Level Y

    Guided Reading Short Reads Level Y

    The all-new Guided Reading Short Reads gives students the practice they need to read and understand the complex, informational texts that we encounter every day. Students dive right into challenging & relevant content while learning key strategies to uncover deep meaning. With a wide range of subjects and text types, students will expand their academic vocabulary and engage with thematically linked information. Put it all together, and Guided Reading Short Reads is an essential tool to prepare all K-6 students for next-gen assessments, college and careers.

    NEW! Guided Reading Short Reads:
    • Fits seamlessly into classroom guided reading groups
    • Teaches strategies for decoding and comprehending complex texts
    • Builds rich domain-specific vocabulary across content areas
    • Engages students with thematically linked passages across text types
    • Provides sufficiently complex, short informational texts worthy of being read, reread, and analyzed

    Each level includes:
    • 10 Student Informational Text Cards, 6 copies each
    • 1 Teaching Guide
    • Magazine-style storage box

    Visit the Scholastic Guided Reading Program website for more information.

    $99.00 You save: 25%
    Supplementary Collection | Grade 6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Guided Reading Short Reads Level Y
    Grade 6 $99.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter

    by Brendan January

    Dramatic and defining moments in American history come vividly to life in this series designed to make children feel they are on the scene as history is being made Accomplished through text;illustrations;photographs;and engravings;these titles support history;social studies and geography curricula. Index included.

    $4.46 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 4-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Fort Sumter
    Grades 4-6 $4.46
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from