Letters to the Editor

Florida Holocaust Museum helps teachers confront prejudice, injustice | Letter to the editor

Many thanks to the Bradenton Herald for its recent article about Holocaust education in Manatee County. One of the primary lessons of the Holocaust is that people must not remain silent when they are confronted by prejudice and injustice. Each year, we continue to see the horrific results of unchecked hatred. It is time we learn from history and put an end to bigotry and intolerance.

The mission of The Florida Holocaust Museum is to “honor the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The Museum is dedicated to teaching the members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides.” An important way we accomplish this mission is through our education initiatives, working with educators across the state to provide them with the necessary tools and instruction to teach about the Holocaust in their classrooms to students of all ages.

Using the lessons of the Holocaust as the centerpiece of all we do, our programs and multiple curriculums highlight the terrible outcomes of racism and fear of “the other,” and dangers of remaining silent in the face of prejudice and hate.

For more than 28 years, the FHM has been equipping teachers across the state with the resources and training they need to provide dynamic, age-appropriate lessons for their students about Holocaust history and other acts of genocide and human rights violations. Last school year alone, we reached close to 1,500 teachers and over 75,000 students. From Escambia down through Miami-Dade, our state-wide customizable outreach helps teachers implement the required Instruction to teach about the Holocaust and enables students to draw lessons from the past that are applicable to our world today.

I would like to personally thank the School District of Manatee County for their partnership with the FHM as they work to provide quality Holocaust education to their students. Many classrooms in Manatee County have visited the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg and even more have used our resources, including our popular “Teaching Trunks,” packed with grade-appropriate books, videos, artifact replicas, posters, curriculum and more. In September, the FHM’s educators will be leading a training on Holocaust resources and curriculum for every social studies and language arts teacher in the district. We’ll be returning in January for a more specialized training during the district’s professional development days.

The Florida Holocaust Museum is one of only three Holocaust museums accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. All our resources are free to educators in all public and private schools, from our Virtual Tours to our award-winning classroom program “Speak Up, Speak Now!®.” For more information, please visit www.TheFHM.org or email education@thefhm.org.

Elizabeth Gelman, executive director

The Florida Holocaust Museum

St. Petersburg

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