Future Teachers to Get First-Hand History Lesson

HOUSTON, TX (May 16, 2005) - Twenty-seven future teachers will have an opportunity this month to learn how to teach their students about one of history's grimmest times from survivors who lived through that dark period and from liberators who helped to rescue them.

This year's recipients of the Warren Fellowship for Future Teachers will visit Holocaust Museum Houston May 22-27, 2005, for a week of intensive training and opportunities to hear from experts on World War II history, survivors of the Nazi atrocities of the Holocaust and veterans who participated in liberating the concentration camps.

The group includes 26 students from across Texas and one current educator from Washington, D.C. Fellowship recipients were selected based on an application process that included an essay about the importance of teaching the dangers of intolerance, prejudice and hatred to today's students.

"As survivors of the Holocaust are aging, many are no longer able to tell their own stories. It is becoming more and more important that our teachers know how to teach the Holocaust and understand the importance of remembering what transpired so that it never happens again," said Susan Llanes-Myers, executive director of the Museum. "Our Warren Fellows will become the future voices of those who survived the Holocaust, making certain that tomorrow's students are taught the lessons of tolerance and understanding that must be learned."

The future educators will hear from members of the Museum's staff, as well as from Dr. William Meinecke, a scholar with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C., and Jerry Fowler, staff director of the Committee on Conscience at USHMM.

Providing additional insight this year will be Zita Turgeman of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, who will seek to answer the question "How Was It Humanly Possible?" in one of four lectures to the group. The students also will take a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) to view the exhibit "Alfredo Jaar: The Eyes of Gutete Emerita" and hear from Gilbert Vacario, assistant curator of Latin American art for MFAH.

Other sessions will focus on the Polish and Danish rescues, issues of genocide, the victims of Nazi persecution, life in the Warsaw ghetto, the Nazi camps and the Jewish resistance.

The Fellows, who will become elementary or secondary school teachers, will meet in small groups with Houston area survivors of the Holocaust to hear their experiences first-hand.

Each Fellow is required to choose a topic relevant to the grade level and content he or she will teach and then to develop lesson plans applicable for that group.

This year's class includes the first student from outside Texas, Mark Reford of the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. Other participants this year and their schools are:

  • The University of Texas at Austin: Amber Spindor, Arianna Ayala, Bonnie Castle Walton, Canela Montalvo, Casey Wohlers, Dorothy Meiburg, Elaine Marie Norris, Jennifer L. Johnson, Josh Gottesman, Kassandra Hysmith, Kelli Nicole White, Racheal DeBlanc, Rachel Danner, Robyn Attebury, Roxann Patrick, Tracy G. Wilkinson, Michelle Petrofsky, Daniel Steve Villarreal and Vicki Engelhardt.
  • The University of Texas at Arlington: Marisa Kaye Freeman, Monica Herrera, Melissa K. Myer, Victoria L. Deane and Angela Bordonali.
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio: Michelle Marsh and Elizabeth Duncan.

The Warren Fellowship was developed by Holocaust Museum Houston with funding from survivor Naomi Warren and her family to train future teachers on strategies and approaches for bringing Holocaust education into the classroom.

Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education. Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston's Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004.

For more information about Holocaust Museum Houston, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.

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Holocaust Museum Houston is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums.

Hours and Admission
Museum Hours:

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Museum Admission:

$12 for adults
$8 for active-duty military and AARP members
Free for children, students and college-level students with valid ID
Free admission on Sundays

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