On Thursday, TCA students in grades one through eight had a moving and meaningful day discussing and learning about Yom HaShoah. On Wednesday, students in grades five through eight received candles bearing names of Holocaust victims at the start of the program, which they had to research. The children then created a report for each of their victims and later presented to their families before lighting the candle at home in their memory. On Thursday, the students read out loud the names of their assigned Holocaust victims, and shared some information about them with their peers. After the ceremony, they watched a powerful documentary film called “Six Million Paper Clips.” The movie describes the efforts of middle school students from the rural Tennessee town of Whitwell to create a Holocaust memorial based on a collection of millions of paper clips intended to represent all of the victims who perished during the holocaust. Students afterwards broke up into smaller groups to discuss the movie and the lessons and emotions it stirred in them. The students shared some inspiring takeaways and impressions from the movie.
The fourth graders at TCA listened to the story “Who Was the Woman Who Wore the Hat?” by Nancy Patz. In this book, the author wrote about the questions she wondered about as she looked at a woman’s hat on display at a Holocaust Memorial in Amsterdam. The class then discussed the importance of always being kind and filling the world with light so that something like the Shoah never happens again.
In the younger grades, teachers spoke with their classes about the significance of the day in a sensitive and developmentally appropriate manner. They read stories related to kindness and being accepting of others, even if they are different from us. They also talked about what they can do to make the world a kinder, better place.