Fifth-grade students learn about the Holocaust

On Thursday, April 13, our fifth-grade students learned about the Holocaust in the Hackney Theater.

Members of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater shared the story of holocaust survivor Kitty Saks.

Saks, who now resides in Hampton Roads, was a little girl during the war, hid in seven convents and denied her Jewish heritage to survive.

It is her story among many others that will live on through the UJFT’s multimedia presentation, What We Carry.

Our students asked challenging questions such as “how did Hitler gain so much power; when did the U.S. learn about the camps; and how did others escape?”

The fifth-grade class is currently studying World War II and as part of that historical context, they are also learning about the Holocaust.

“With the study of our unit we are also watching a two-day video called Paper Clips, which gives a boarder lesson teaching tolerance, prejudice and hatred and how to overcome those things,” said Tim Duvall, fifth-grade teacher.

Students had the opportunity to look through a mock briefcase of Saks belongings to gain a better understanding of the time, culture and her story.

“I learned why they made Jews wear stars on their shirts,” said Clara Murphy ’23. “It was to know that they were Jewish.”   

 “I thought it was really interesting about life back then,” said Caden Houghton ’23. Especially, how her grandparents had to go into a gas chamber. It was a difficult time. I learned that you had to be brave against soldiers and how the teachers helped her.”

“It was great to learn that Kitty and her parents survived the Holocaust and [that] she is still alive today,” said Casey Newsome ’23.

Our students will continue to study the Holocaust and World War II until the end of the quarter.