Maine Teachers: The HHRC is here for you!

HRRC Teacher HEader

We’re writing to let you know that we’re committed to continuing to support you. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everything. In the midst of this, you’re also being asked to transition the art and craft of your teaching to a distance model while navigating the unique concerns of your family, community and each of your students. So before we tell you about how we’re reimagining the HHRC’s programming, we wanted to take a moment to say thank you! You’re working to continue educating your students in these unprecedented times despite all of the obstacles, and that’s really important work.

At the HHRC, we’ve also been working hard to ensure that our outreach programs can continue. Thanks to the work of the HHRC Board, staff and our many supporters, we were able to develop a budget that keeps our full education team onboard for this school year and next, and ensures that our free educational programming will continue for all educators and students in Maine through the rest of 2020.

Do you need a guest speaker to discuss the Holocaust, civil rights, immigration or anti-bias for your zoom or google hangout session next week? HHRC educators are ready to bring our content to your classroom. We can present one of our existing programs through zoom or google hangout for your whole class, or we can develop specific portions of our programming to suit your needs.

Looking for an essay topic to assign to students? We can send you a testimony of a Maine Holocaust survivor, a photo and information about an artifact, or our spring Holocaust essay contest prompt.

Or, if you just have a question or need some help creating a way for students to engage online with the kind of challenging material our workshops cover, please get in touch, and we’ll help in any way we can.

We’re hard at work right now adapting popular favorites like “Decision Making In Times of Injustice” from in-person to online. Our online programs will be presented in modules with layers of additional material provided for deeper study into a topic. For example, moving our content online permits us to expand our anti-bias focus to more deeply explore anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, xenophobia and other recurring examples of bias and discrimination.  Throughout the new programs, we’ll incorporate resources that are unique to Maine such as newspaper accounts of Kristallnacht that were published in our state or excerpts of Maine Holocaust survivor testimonies.

In addition, thanks to a grant from the Nellie Mae Foundation, we are developing a new portion of our anti-bias program that focuses on bias in the wake of COVID-19. We know that racism is a virus too, and we’re mindful of how some people have already leveraged  COVID-19 to target Jews, Asians and  people of color. These acts of “othering” are another symptom of the pandemic. Our new anti-bias programming will be available in May.

At the same time, we’re also looking ahead to our summer seminars. Our 2020 summer seminars will be happening either virtually or in person, and they will be offered for free to educators and pre-service educators. If you’re thinking ahead to your own professional development in the areas of Holocaust and human rights education including anti-bias education, please stay in touch. More information will be forthcoming.

As we transform our offerings, we’d love to hear from you. What can we do to support you? What sorts of resources will be helpful? Most importantly, how are you doing? We are here if you need us this spring.

You can reply directly to this email to reach Associate Director David Greenham, or feel free to reach out to our regional educators:  

Marpheen Chann, Southern Maine, marpheen.channberry@maine.edu
Erica Nadelhaft, Northern Maine, erica.nadelhaft@maine.edu
Piper Dumont, Western Maine, piper.dumont@maine.edu

We look forward to hearing from you and continuing to work with you!

Take good care and stay safe,
David, Erica, Marpheen, Piper, Phil and Shenna

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