Students learn of perseverance, hope from Holocaust survivor

Western Wayne School District  |  Posted on

Western Wayne Middle School students interact with Holocaust survivor Peter Stern

Students at Western Wayne Middle School recently learned about the Holocaust from survivor Peter Stern. Students and teachers watched Stern’s 45-minute presentation of perseverance, faith and luck via Google Meet in the classroom. Stern outlined his experience being held in various concentration camps for about four years and his subsequent liberation on April 15, 1945. He also shared how he went on to become a middle school teacher, serving for 30 years. He then answered students’ questions. According to a district press release, Stern’s presentation aims to educate the youth of America about the importance of respecting and appreciating others no matter their race, religious preference, appearance, etc. He also emphasizes the importance of affecting positive change in the world.

Eighth grader Allyson Irvine reflected on how moved she was by Stern’s presentation: “The presentation was very moving and definitely taught many students about the Holocaust and even the ability we have as humans to touch others in ways that are unimaginable.”

The district provided this opportunity through the Holocaust Awareness Museum as part of the school’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program, which seeks to create a proactive positive school environment in which students are demonstrating their Wildcat Pride everyday. After this truly exceptional experience of listening to Stern’s first-hand account of survival, the Western Wayne Middle School community is much better prepared to affect the type of change that Stern challenged them all to do in their daily lives.