KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Thirty teachers from across the region were provided with tools and resources to help better educate students about the Holocaust.
The workshop was called “Americans and The Holocaust,” and the NC Council on the Holocaust hosted it. Officials said it was the first time they have held an in-person event in 18 months. They had two guest speakers, a historian, and a holocaust survivor to help the teachers learn more about the history so they can better educate students.
“Zoom is no substitute for being together, learning from each other. It’s not just a chance to, you know, listen to presentations, but also a chance for teachers to collaborate,” said Lauren Piner, a Pitt County teacher and member of the NC Council on the Holocaust.
The event was held at the Queen Street United Methodist Church in Kinston. This church is also home to the Gizella Gross Abramson Resource Center for Holocaust and Civil Rights Education.
Teachers had the opportunity to tour this center and see the resources they have available for educators. They also had lesson plan activities available for them to use and interactive displays.
“We really want to be able to give teachers, activities and resources that when they leave here (Tuesday) afternoon, they are able to take back and use in their classrooms tomorrow,” said Karen Klaich, co-director for the NC Council on the Holocaust Teacher Workshop and Webinar Program.
The council believes there has been a rise in hate speech here in the United States and around the world, and they say it’s the job of educators to teach the principles of tolerance and justice to students.
“It really is the job of our teachers, our administrators, and our students to work together to really sort of live up to the ideals of America, of liberty and justice for all. And that includes looking at the ugly parts of our history,” said Piner.
Lee Holder is a member of the NC Council on the Holocaust and a former Lenoir County teacher of 32 years. He said he hopes teachers leave today with new knowledge to teach students to be upstanding.
“The Holocaust is all about choices made. And we want to empower the students and give them the information and the resources through the teachers to make those important choices on their own and to be fighters against prejudice, discrimination, racism, hatred, anti-Semitism,” said Holder.
Holder adds that if anyone needs any resources from the center for their classroom or community events, to reach out to the center. They are located at Queen Street United Methodist Church in Kinston.