by George J Elbaum
Annie Wright Schools was founded in 1884 as Annie Wright Seminary for girls, and in the 134 years since then it has grown into 4 schools with enrollment of more than 500 boys and girls spanning grades from preschool through 12. In 2009 Annie Wright Schools became an International Baccalaureate World School, offering the IB Diploma Programme. My presentation was to 6th, 7th and 8th graders of Annie Wright Middle School, and considering their young age I was very impressed with the maturity and thoughtfulness of their questions during the post-talk Q&A.
The event was organized by teacher Kyle Price, and it was attended by approximately 80 students, parents, grandparents and guests, and the school’s Director Bill Hulseman and teachers Sedia Bayard and Jessica Paco. Julia Thompson, Holocaust Center for Humanity’s Education Resource Coordinator, made the arrangements for me.
Student Thank You’s
A few weeks after my talk at Annie Wright School I received a package containing half-dozen greeting cards, each with a charming drawing of Annie Wright’s building and arched portico and “Thank You” on the card’s front, and inside each card some 2 dozen Thank You’s from the students. A few days later we left for 2 weeks in Boston and New York, then a full week of giving talks in the San Francisco Bay Area, so only now did I read the many, many Thank You’s written inside those cards. I much appreciated the thought in all of them, and the half-dozen that particularly resonated with me and well characterized the others are below.
- Thank you so much for coming in and sharing your amazing, inspiring story.
- Your life was so amazing! I can’t believe what you and so many others have been through.
- Sorry for what you had to go through.
- Thank you so much for inspiring us through your experiences.
- You provided a new way of thinking about prejudice and bias.
- Your talk impacted me because now I know to be careful and not prejudiced. Thank you so much. I would hear you talk again and again, if I could.
- Thank you so much for coming and educating us. I wish I was there. I heard that you were great!