FWSU Transferable Skill: Responsible and Involved Citizenship: Demonstrate ethical behavior and the moral courage to sustain it.
UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions
The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27— the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau— as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year for the first time in Vermont’s history, the Vermont Holocaust Memorial and the Agency of Education are launching a Holocaust Education Week. The week of curated courses and presentations include fundamental history and vital lessons of the Holocaust. Vermont teachers and their classrooms (and the community) are invited to attend any of the ten live, web-based presentations given by Holocaust survivors, their children, grandchildren, and others.
The students in Sara Villeneuve’s Holocaust Studies Language Arts class played a very important part in helping to launch the project. Villeneuve, who serves as an educational consultant with the Vermont Holocaust Memorial, has been using many of the lesson plans in her classes throughout the fall semester. On January 18th, the students traveled to the Vermont State House to be part of the press conference announcing the bipartisan resolution declaring January 23-27, 2023 Vermont Holocaust Education Week.
Students were able to meet many of the key government officials that made the resolution possible including Chittenden-Southeast District Senator Virginia “Ginny” Lyons, Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale, Legislator Avram Patt, and President Pro Tempore Philip Baruth. “At a time of continuing increasing antisemitism, hate, and intolerance throughout the United States, Vermont students must understand this timely history,” said Senator Lyons.
Student Bryce Fontaine shared, “It is important to educate children about the Holocaust because of the horrifying events that occurred and how they can never happen again. It will help the students build a moral compass to help them know right from wrong in the future.”
Eric Wimble expressed, “Learning about the Holocaust helps us to honor the victims and survivors of the tragedy. It is a way of paying tribute to those who suffered and lost their lives, and a way of ensuring that their memories are not forgotten. By remembering the victims of the Holocaust, we can recognize their bravery and resilience in the face of immense adversity.” Teachers throughout BFA Fairfax have been encouraged to participate in the upcoming Holocaust Education week.
Sara Villeneuve shared this speech at the Holocaust Education Press Conference:
Resources and more information can be found at https://www.holocaustmemorial-vt.org/2023-vt-holocaust-education-week
BFA HS Teacher
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