Reach for Excellence Program decorates trunks

7 JULY 2013 -- Students of The Marist School's Reach for Excellence Program decorated two trunks for the 2013-2014 Holocaust Learning Trunk Project. They presented the trunks to the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust and toured the Commission-sponsored Anne Frank in the World exhibit located in Sandy Springs. Through the instruction of educator Lesley McClendon, the students learned about the Holocaust by utilizing literary and digital resources presented in their Language Arts class. The artwork on each trunk highlighted two inspiring stories of hope and defiance to Nazi oppression: Anne Frank’s diary and Verdi’s “Requiem” performed by Jewish prisoners in Theresienstadt concentration camp.
These trunks will join eighteen others in a collection of twenty total trunks decorated by students, filled with educational materials, and distributed throughout the state as part of the Holocaust Learning Trunk Project. 
The Holocaust Learning Trunk Project is sponsored by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust with the support of the Georgia Department of Education. The project provides learning trunks to middle schools throughout the entire state of Georgia. Each trunk contains a full complement of educational materials about the Holocaust, WWII, and genocide. These trunks and the materials within are meant to be an interdisciplinary supplement to curriculum already in place and assist educators in fulfilling the State's Standards of Excellence by teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and the consequences of genocide.
The exterior of each trunk is decorated by schools/organizations in metro Atlanta. Trunk decorating allows students to express the lessons of the Holocaust through medium of art. Each trunk has a story. No two trunk designs are alike and that is what makes this project so unique. 
The core objectives of the project include the following: emphasize that hate is taught, not an innate trait by birth; it is a person’s choices that determine their role(s), emphasize stories of rescue and resistance to demonstrate the significance of personal responsibility, emphasize personal testimony in place of statistics, and emphasize that all Jews were victims but not all victims were Jews.
Click here to learn more about the Holocaust Learning Trunk Project.