THS to hold Holocaust Education Day on April 13

Thorsby High School will hold Holocaust Education Day on April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Rachel Hartsell’s class has borrowed the traveling exhibit from the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. Students will take the stories of Alabama survivors and present those as projects during Holocaust Education Day.

“We’re hoping for a day of remembrance and students teaching students,” Hartsell said.

Hartsell’s goal is to one day have a full-semester Holocaust elective for students at Thorsby.

“The administration here at Thorsby has been so good and willing to see a teacher’s talent in an area, and let us express that talent,” Hartsell said.

She has brought up these topics and educated students about the Holocaust in the past as part of her ethics and other core content classes.

“We see several examples of genocide still in the world today,” Hartsell said.

According to Hartsell, the Holocaust curriculum has been tweaked over the years and is a combination of some of her own design, along with bits and pieces of what she has learned.

“In the past, I’ve had Holocaust survivors come and speak to the students,” Hartsell said. “The students take very well to it.”

A Holocaust survivor is scheduled to come and speak with the students as part of Holocaust Education Day.

Each year, Hartsell asks her students what they will take away most from the year. The majority of students point to the time spent during the Holocaust unit.

“I feel like when you’re passionate about something, like I am about the Holocaust, it shines through,” Hartsell said.

This year, Thorsby’s education day lines up fairly close with the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is one day prior on April 12.

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