Free Spanish-Language Curriculum Trunks Take Lessons of the Holocaust to Latin America

HOUSTON, TX (May 12, 2006) - In an effort to ensure language is not a barrier to anyone learning the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy, Holocaust Museum Houston is expanding its most popular educational program into Latin America this month in a new Spanish-language format offered free to teachers.

The first of the Museum's new Spanish curriculum trunks filled with information about the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned from it will ship from Houston to schools in Chile at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17.

More than 9,000 teachers worldwide have used the English version - now totaling 110 trunks - to teach more than 1.1 million students about the Holocaust, said Christina Vasquez, the Museum's director of education.

The trunks - literally steamer trunks filled with films, posters, books, CD-ROMs, lesson plans and other materials for a class of 25-30 students - provide teachers with a working kit of tools that, in most cases, would be cost prohibitive to the teachers and many school districts, said Vasquez.

"We have long recognized that teachers need age-specific resources, lesson plans and materials to adequately teach future generations about the Holocaust," she said. "Latin America was a haven for Nazis after the war, but many areas also became the new homes for European Jews who fled, and there has been increasing interest in that region over the years."

She said the English trunks have been so popular because teachers see the instructional aids as "on the cutting edge of teaching social consciousness, thus making students aware of the importance of personal responsibility and moral courage."

The first trunk will be shipped to Tulio Astudillo in Santiago, Chile. Astudillo is a journalist, professor and historian who lectures on the Holocaust to schools and universities in that country and will be arranging for the trunks to tour various schools there. He is the author of "Cenizas y Esperanzas" ("Ashes and Hope"), a biography of Holocaust survivor David Feuerstein, who lives in Chile. Astudillo also is organizing the project, "Enseñando por la Paz" ("Teaching for Peace"), in which the trunks will be used.

Asked about the importance of the project, he said, "The news that is reported daily shows us a lack of respect for the quality of human life. We need to assume the task of teaching respect, teaching love and teaching about the dignity of all people. Through this program, we will teach about the seeking of values and recognizing the traditions of others."

The Spanish trunks currently are available only for secondary schools. English trunks are offered for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and advanced placement high schools and are stocked with a variety of materials suitable for each classroom.

They are loaned for three to five weeks at a time and are shipped free on request from teachers at qualified schools. Most are usually reserved months in advance.

To find materials for the trunks, the Museum worked in conjunction with other institutions such as the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and Holocaust organizations in Latin America. The trunks include rare materials such as Spanish translations of survivor Elie Wiesel's book "Night," the popular "Diary of Anne Frank" and "Number the Stars" as well as videos, books, posters and CD-ROMs that tell the story of Spanish survivors of the Holocaust and survivors who fled to Latin America.

Each trunk includes lesson plans and activities to assist the teacher in preparation.

Teachers who wish to reserve a trunk for a qualified school can do so by calling 713-942-8000, ext. 310, or by visiting the Museum's Web site at www.hmh.org.

Funding for and assistance with the program was provided by the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany, Duke Energy, Gateway Logistics Group and The Junior League of Houston.

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, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.

Media Contact
For media inquiries, please contact:
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
Tel: (713) 942-8000, ext. 103
E-mail: news@hmh.org

Our Public Relations team is eager to assist you in coverage of activities at Holocaust Museum Houston.

All requests for interviews or on-site photography or videography by members of the media must be coordinated in advance through our Public Relations office by calling 713-942-8000, ext. 103 or e-mailing news@hmh.org.

Address and Directions
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

E-mail Page Sitemap Legal Notice Our Sponsors
Holocaust Museum Houston Morgan Family Center, 9220 Kirby Drive, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77054, Tel: 713-942-8000, E-mail: info@hmh.org Powered by Nodus Solutions
Rss Feeds RSS Feeds Plan Your Visit   About HMH    Exhibitions   Events   Membership   Education/Outreach   Resources   News/Media   Support HMH   HMH Store