by George J Elbaum
College Place Middle School is a public school with enrollment of 456 students in grades 7 and 8. The school’s minority enrollment is 56% and 49% of the students are economically disadvantaged. In spite of these demographics, the school’s overall testing rank is in the top 50% in the state.
Seattle’s Holocaust Center for Humanity has worked with College Place for several years. English teacher Jen Haugen has attended the Center’s professional development for teachers, arranged virtual and in-person field trips, and hosted speakers. This year, Jen and the Center’s Education Program Manger Julia Thompson organized a full day program of 5 one-hour presentations by 5 Holocaust survivors to 5 8th Grade English Honors classes of approximately 30 students each. I was one of the 5 presenters. In preparing for this day, the students have read the play version of Anne Frank’s diary, and have learned about the Pyramid of Hate and Jewish partisans of WWII. It was indeed a full day of education about the Holocaust.