Area educators offered workshop guidance and tools for teaching the Holocaust

    MATTAWAN - Mattawan High School will sponsor a professional development workshop, March 11, for those involved in teaching the Holocaust, including middle school and high school English and social studies teachers, as well as college secondary education majors, librarians,  and English or social studies majors, amongst others.
    This free event will take place at KSS Enterprises, 5053 Sports Drive, Kalamazoo, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    During the all-day program, educators will learn about meeting Michigan’s public act requirement for teaching the Holocaust and other genocides, discover and utilize classroom-ready digital lesson plans, visual history testimonies, and additional primary sources, and be empowered with the insight needed to question the past and the foresight to impact the future.  
    Attendees will also learn how the curriculum presented aligns with the C3 Framework for Social Studies and how that alignment fits into school improvement plan strategies and district needs.
    One-half of the workshop will be led by Sheryl Silver Ochayon, Project Director, Echoes and Reflections at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel.  Ochayon leads formal Holocaust education at the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies, and informal Holocaust education at Yad Vashem’s History Museum, as well as guides both Israeli and American groups - including students, the Israeli Army, business people and other groups - in Poland.
    Echoes and Reflections engages students to reflect and think critically about how the Holocaust influences the social issues unfolding in the world today.  It is the premier source for Holocaust educational materials and dynamic content.  The curriculum empowers teachers and students with the insight needed to question the past and the foresight to impact the future, according to Ochayon.
    The second half of the workshop will be taught by primary trainers Robin Axelrod and Aliza Tick from the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus, Farmington Hills, MI.  Axelrod is Director of Education there, while Tick is an Education Associate.
    Mattawan Consolidated School superintendent, Dr. Robin Buchler, said of the opportunity, “Whenever we get the chance to give back, whether to students or other educators, it is important that we do this. Sharing the experiences of our high school English teacher, Lori Fulton, and her travels to participate in the Yad Vashem's (Echoes & Reflections Advanced Learning Seminar) with other educators will hopefully enhance their passion for teaching about this important historical event.
    “The learning and lessons from these rich experiences allow all educators to add tools to their teaching to bring the Holocaust to life for our students to learn and grow from.”
    Tim Eastman, Mattawan High School principal, said, “Genocide is a topic for all people and not just for our students.  It is imperative that all seek to understand the cultural differences between us are cause for celebration and not derision.”
    He added, “Mattawan has always included elements of Holocaust education in our curriculum. Mrs. Fulton's experiences in Israel (at Yad Vashem) and this workshop will further enhance and develop our resources in teaching this topic.”
    The workshop will be compliant with state and national education standards, connecting topics related to history, social studies, language arts, and the humanities.  It will include information that can be customizable to be used individually or as part of a larger course of study.  Materials come from a variety of media, including documents, visual history testimony, artwork, and poetry, amongst others.  
    The event is free, although five SCECHs (State Continuing Education Clock Hours) will be offered for a nominal fee for educators who wish to purchase them.
    To register, visit: https://tinyurl.com/March11Training.
    For more information, contact Lori Fulton at Mattawan High School: lfulton@mattawanschools.org.

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

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