Monthly Education Report: October 3, 2022

October 3, 2022


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FSWC Education Report




Here's what the Education Department at  Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) has been  up to over the last month.





The 2022-2023 school year started on a high note with the hosting of Freedom Day, Friends  of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies' (FSWC) largest education  event. After two years of virtual programming, we were thrilled to host an  in-person Freedom Day in partnership with the Toronto District  School Board. Northern Secondary School opened its doors for the live Freedom  Day program, filling the auditorium with almost 1,000 students, while we  simultaneously live-streamed the program on our FSWC YouTube channel to more  than 5,000 students across Canada.

Students and  teachers tuned in for a wide variety of speakers that included Speaker's Idol  finalist Nevaeh Pine, musician Kairo McLean who is the youngest Juno Award  winner in Canadian history, Holocaust survivor Andy Réti and students from  St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School, as well as "the girl from the  picture," Kim Phuc, whose image was captured in the Nobel prize-winning  photo from the Vietnam War. 

We continue  to receive feedback about the powerful impact of Freedom Day. One of the  Grade 7 classes that attended the program sent a collection of written  reflections about what the students had learned from Freedom Day.

Student  reflections after Freedom Day

If you were unable to join  us live, you can watch the recorded Freedom Day 2022 program by clicking  the video below. Be sure to mark your calendars on Wednesday, September 20 for  Freedom Day 2023!




Professional Development  in Full Swing

The FSWC education department has started off the school year giving  numerous professional development programs to educators at all different  stages of their careers. Equity  Essentials, a special program for new teachers focusing on  integrating equity lessons into classrooms, was delivered to a group of  teacher candidates attending Brock University. These new teachers were given  a framework and tools to build their lessons addressing racism, antisemitism  and other forms of intolerance for their future classrooms. 

Daniella  Lurion and Kim Quinn, FSWC's Tour for Humanity Director and Educator  respectively, also presented a series of professional development programs in September to teachers and other school board consultants in Brampton, Newmarket and Aurora. Each of these programs dealt with the history of the Holocaust and genocide and made connections to contemporary world events.

We strive to  support teachers in their own personal learning along with their professional  efforts to create meaningful, impactful learning opportunities in their classrooms across Canada. 


Tour for Humanity: Notes  from the Road

The Tour for Humanity has been back on the road this past month,  delivering workshops about the Holocaust, genocide and identifying different  forms of hate in Canada. Students are as enthusiastic as ever, excited to be  back at school and even more excited to be on the bus! 

A group of  Grade 6 students really stood out this month as they took the lessons they  learned from the Tour for Humanity workshop and were able to apply their new  knowledge to real-life situations they identified as concerning. For example,  after learning about racism in the Canadian  Experience program, one of the students asked if it is considered  hateful or a hate crime for rappers to use racist words in their songs. We  then collaborated as a class to brainstorm ideas on how we can denounce  hateful lyrics in songs, such as by not listening to or buying the singer’s  music, advocating for the artist to change the lyrics, educating their  friends and so on. It was an incredibly powerful conversation to witness,  watching students take the lead in applying what they had learned from the  program.