The Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center hosted their 8th Annual Human Rights Institute for Middle School Student Leaders on November 15th, 16th and 17th at Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester in Rye, New York. Students and teachers from thirty public and private middle schools in the Lower Hudson-Westchester region attended. HHREC staff and area middle school teachers facilitated a breakout session on the themes of Respecting the Individual and How to Be an Upstander, and students met within groups to develop activities to implement in their schools. High School students from Byram Hills, Dobbs Ferry, John Jay (Katonah-Lewisboro) and Somers helped to facilitate the breakout sessions.
The Institute began with a keynote presentation by Sheila Arnold, CEO and Lead Performer of History’s Alive! Ms. Arnold has also performed as a Regional Storyteller at Colonial Williamsburg, the Valley Forge Teacher Institute, and at conferences across the U.S.
This program was developed to further the mission of the HHREC by laying the foundation to encourage students to become “upstanders rather than bystanders.” Participating schools included: Albert Leonard (New Rochelle); Benjamin Turner (Mount Vernon); Denzel Washington School of the Arts (Mount Vernon); Dobbs Ferry; Eastchester; Fieldstone (North Rockland); Fox Lane (Bedford); French American School; German International School; H.H. Wells (Brewster); Highlands (White Plains); Hommocks (Mamaroneck); Isaac E. Young (New Rochelle); Mahopac; Newburgh (Heritage MS, Meadow Hill Gem, South MS and Temple Academy); North Salem; Pierre Van Cortlandt (Croton—on-Hudson); Pleasantville; Port Chester; Rye Country Day School; Rye Neck; Scarsdale; Seven Bridges (Chappaqua); Somers; Westlake (Mt. Pleasant); and Woodlands (Greenburgh) middle schools.
“We are very pleased to continue offering this program to area middle schools this year.” said Julie Scallero, HHREC Co-Director of Education. “We really appreciate the support from their teachers to help us connect with their students, as we work together to help them learn about these important contemporary issues.”