The Memorial Library Presents at the November 2015 Meetings of the National Writers Project and the National Council of Teachers of English
This past November, the Holocaust Memorial Library sponsored workshops at the 2015 annual meetings of the National Writers Project (NWP) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), held back to back in Minneapolis, Minnesota in November.
The Library has presented at the NWP event each year since 2007, when the two organizations initially established ties, but this was its first presentation at the NCTE event. The sessions gave the Library important facetime with educators from across the country, both new teachers looking for exposure to key methodologies and veteran professionals eager to discover new, cutting-edge approaches. In addition, Library faculty had the chance to connect with the large representation of HEN members in attendance.
At the NWP Annual Meeting, the Library moderated a program entitled Opportunities and Challenges in Holocaust and Social Justice Education on November 19. The panel included Sondra Perl and Jennifer Lemberg, as well as HEN teacher-consultants Corey Harbaugh, Director of Teaching and Learning for Fennville Public Schools in Fennville, MI, and Enithie Hunter, teacher of English at Hillel Yeshiva High School in Ocean Township, New Jersey. Corey and Enithie are graduates of the Library’s Summer Seminar in New York. Corey is the co-director of the Library’s Michigan Satellite Seminar.
Panelists shared ideas for teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides in more impactful ways, with a particular emphasis on writing and inquiry for the NWP audience. With insights gleaned from diverse school and community experiences from across the US, they considered how the principles of place-based education can play a meaningful role in teaching about the Holocaust and explored what happens when students are at the center of instruction that takes on difficult histories. The session targeted site directors, teachers interested in Holocaust education, and those planning to apply to the 2016 Memorial Library Summer Seminar.
For its inaugural workshop at the NCTE convention, the Library organized an exciting, interactive session entitled Why Teach the Holocaust? An Inquiry of Purpose and Hope on November 20. Chaired by Jennifer Lemberg, panelists included Corey Harbaugh, other graduates of the Library’s Summer Seminar, and Satellite Seminar leaders. Over 80 educators attended the session.
Jennifer shared best practices for engaging students and teachers in the study of the Holocaust through inquiry. Sue Fletcher, of Ohio University’s Academic Advancement Center and co-leader of the Satellite Seminar in Ohio, reflected on multimodal composing to involve multiple literacies in response to the Holocaust, and Carol Revelle, of the University of North Texas, Denton, explored the importance of hopeful and purposeful questions as the backbone of a Holocaust curriculum.
With so many New York City and Satellite Seminar graduates together in Minneapolis, the Memorial Library organized a reunion dinner after the NWP and NCTE events came to a close. It was a lovely evening, and for network members and the Library leadership, an important opportunity to celebrate the community of educators nurtured over the past 10 years since the launch of the first Summer Seminar in New York.