PLEASANT PLAINS, AR (KAIT) - Midland High School teacher Karen Wells has been chosen by the USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education and Discovery Education as one of only 25 people from around the world to take part in a professional development program in Poland as part of "Auschwitz: The Past is Present."
"Auschwitz: The Past is Present" is a global communications and education program to support the official observance of the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Wells will join educators from 11 different countries in a four day workshop to increase her knowledge of Poland before, during and after the Holocaust.
She will also get the opportunity to work with IWitness, the USC Shoah Foundation's educational website that brings testimonies from survivors and witnesses of genocide, including the Holocaust, from the Institute's Visual History Archive to secondary schools via multimedia-learning activities.
Wells will also meet with Holocaust survivors.
"It is my responsibility as an educator to teach my students how to look to the past, and then look to the future and understand the global challenges they might face," said Wells. "My participation in this program will deepen my own knowledge of the Holocaust and will allow me to have a significant impact on student engagement. It will let me provide my students with the knowledge they need to understand the 'how' and 'why' an atrocity such as the Holocaust was allowed to progress - and to understand their personal responsibility to ensure that such brutality doesn't happen again."
The professional development program will be in Warsaw on Jan. 23 at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews and end on Jan. 27 at the official ceremonies at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.