FORT PAYNE, AL (WRCB) -
The USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education and Discovery Education selected Jeannie Woods, a Fort Payne Middle School teacher as one of only 25 teachers from around the world to participate in a unique professional development program in Poland.
The program titled, Auschwitz: The Past is Present is a global communications and education program that will support the official observance of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 2015.
Woods will join educators from 11 different countries representing four continents in attending a four-day workshop designed to deepen their understanding of the historical landscape of Poland before, during and after the Holocaust and increase participant knowledge of authentic sites including Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Teachers will also have the opportunity to meet with a large number of Holocaust survivors prior to attending the commemoration ceremony at Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
“Survivors shared their stories because they understood how vital it was that future generations never forget what happened at places like Auschwitz. “By bringing teachers to a place where so many atrocities occurred is a way to show survivors that we take seriously our responsibility of keeping their voices strong forever,” said Dr. Kori Street, USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education.
The Auschwitz: The Past is Present ITeach Professional Development program will begin in Warsaw on Jan. 23, 2015 at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews and conclude at the official ceremonies at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on Jan. 27, 2015.
“It's my responsibility as an educator to help develop good global citizens. “I want to connect my students with the world outside of their own, and I hope that this program will increase my own understanding of the Holocaust so that I can better teach my students that such an atrocity can never happen again,” said Woods.
Available to schools across the United States and globally in the spring of 2015, the Virtual Field Trip will provide students with firsthand accounts from survivors returning to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and motivate them to engage in a meaningful dialogue about history and its relevance today.