Violent acts in our society and brazenly hateful speech harm our children, often generating indifference and perpetuating more bigotry. The interfaith Holocaust Education and Memorial committee, under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford, is introducing a new program, called Trunk of Tolerance or TOT, to promote tolerance and respect among our students. This project reflects our committee’s theme this year: Saving Our Children, Saving Our Future.
We are requesting your permission to offer interested teachers in your district the ability to borrow free Holocaust materials to supplement their existing curriculum while fulfilling Common Core standards. The scope of this project is limited to stories of survival, rescuers, and resistance.
Our target audience is currently middle school students with the possible expansion to local high school students in the future. This program models other Trunk Projects in Georgia, Texas, Florida, and New Jersey that have been successful for a number of years, connecting students with real world problems.
Our committee will provide only teachers who volunteer to participate with a variety of nonfiction books, posters, passport copies, and links to other materials from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum website all packed in an old trunk
. Each teacher who signs up will get to keep the trunk in his or her classroom for two weeks to incorporate the materials into their lessons. Before they pass the trunk and its contents on to the next interested teacher, students will have the opportunity to decorate the trunk with artwork based on their understanding of what they have learned about the Holocaust. When the trunk reaches the next teacher’s classroom, the artwork generates a conversation about what these art pieces mean. Then those students may add to the artwork decorating the trunk when it’s their turn to pass it along to the next class.
Our goal is to have students create a final project that will be shared with other schools at an exhibit in the spring. Examples include students writing letters to a book author; creating videos of a selection from a text; making propaganda posters; creating a podcast to pass on to other students; and using digital picture frames to display projects.
Please use the form here to grant your permission. Thank you for considering this worthwhile project.
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I grant permission for interested teachers to participate in the Trunk of Tolerance project. *
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