Jewish Press of Tampa

Museum’s Teaching Trunk campaign under way

A sample of a Florida Holocaust Museum “Teaching Trunk,” which are sent to schools, with contents geared to various grade levels.

A sample of a Florida Holocaust Museum “Teaching Trunk,” which are sent to schools, with contents geared to various grade levels.

The Florida Holocaust Museum (FHM) has launched its 7th Annual Trunks of Hope campaign to ensure teachers and students have the free Holocaust education tools and resources they need as they return to the classroom – whether that classroom is at school or at home.

This year, when a donation is made to the campaign, thanks to a matching pledge, the dollars will go even further. That is due to the generosity of Amy and Michael Southard through their charitable foundation, Crofton Cares. Donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000.

Museum officials point out that Holocaust education has never been more important. “Right now, Holocaust denial and distortion are rising at an alarming rate as are antisemitic and racist incidents. On May 27, the museum was targeted by antisemitic vandals who painted swastikas upon its walls with the words, ‘The Jews are guilty,’” said museum interim executive director Erin Blankenship.

Each “Teaching Trunk” includes books and classrooms resources with a different focus for each grade level. The newest “trunks” contain information on integrating the arts and on the topic of genocide and human rights. Digital “Teaching Trunks are also now available.

Among the resources in each trunk are:

• Videos of Holocaust survivor testimony providing first-hand accounts to students, making history come alive.

• Primary-sourced curriculum guides helping educators prepare lessons that can be paired with the museum’s in-person or virtual tours that include 3D images of select artifacts, audio clips, and more.

The “Teaching Trunk” program also provides educational workshops and online courses to reach teachers who need guidance on how to teach about the Holocaust.

Loan periods are for one month to six weeks and are available to public, private and parochial schools throughout the continental U.S. and are available at no cost to the teacher or school. For those who would like to know more about the Teaching Trunks, or for teachers who would like to request one for their classroom, visit The- FHM.org/Teaching-Trunks

To donate: go to TheFHM.org/ Trunks

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