LIGHT IN ACTION
The following are examples of LIGHT projects, events, and programming. Scroll down and see the many ways you can incorporate LIGHT into your community.
Remembrance and Education Event
Project: Students will be able to plan, organize, and carry out an evening Holocaust remembrance and education event open to community members of all ages.
In Action: On March 28th, 2019, Shaler Area students ran the “Evening of Holocaust Remembrance and Education in Commemoration of the Tree of Life Synagogue.” The event put students in leadership roles and was part open-house, part lecture series, and part children’s event.
Student Leadership Roles (120 Volunteers):
Student managers, museum exhibit docents, educators (information booths), photographers, videographers, artists (Butterfly Project memorial creation and children’s multicultural activities), stage crew, activities tables (foreign language clubs, history club, honors societies), donation collections, in-school and online social media promotion, set up, clean up, “runners” for guest speakers.
Community member involvement (Attendance 600+):
Local Holocaust educational organizations, such as The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and Classrooms Without Borders, were in attendance. Also attending were librarians, guest speakers (refugees, Holocaust survivors, authors, and artists) representatives from local synagogues, local and state representatives, out-of-district teachers and administrators, student's parents, peers, and siblings.
A traveling museum exhibit was set up for the event, and financial donations from local businesses and attendees were collected for the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh's Community Campaign.
Click HERE to see the flyer from the event.
Genocide Awareness Project
Students will be able to utilize the USHMM Early Warning Project’s annual Statistical Risk Assessment to identify a country at risk for onset of mass killing, educate themselves about the past, present, and predicted future of that country, then create and implement an action plan to inform their classmates or community.
In 2018-2019, Shaler Area students educated members of their school and community in a variety of ways, including writing letters to state and local representatives, launching social media and poster campaigns, volunteering at a local library to teach a class on human rights violations, creating and sharing a documentary video, and promoting existing human rights organizations.
You can click HERE to download a pdf of the assignment.
Civic Engagement Project
Students will be able to identify a problem or need within their community and reach out to local elected officials to make a positive, lasting change.
In 2018-2019, Shaler Area students took part in the national movement to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. After researching, creating and delivering presentations, and reaching out to local community members and elected officials, a proclamation was made by the Borough of Millvale to formally recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Click HERE to read Millvale’s Indigenous People’s Day Proclamation.
The Butterfly Project
Students will be able to create a Holocaust memorial in their school by participating in The Butterfly Project.
“The Butterfly Project is a call to action through education, the arts, and memorial making. It uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate about the dangers of hatred and bigotry and cultivates empathy and social responsibility. Participants paint ceramic butterflies that are permanently displayed as symbols of resilience and hope, with the goal of creating 1.5 million butterflies around the world—one for each child who perished in the Holocaust, and honoring the survivors.”
In 2018-2019, Shaler Area LIGHT volunteers helped K-12 students and community members to participate in the Butterfly Project. One-hundred-eighty ceramic butterflies were glazed, then fired by the high school ceramics department. The butterflies will become part of a permanent art installation in 2020, to be created by students as the first collaborative LIGHT/STEAM community arts project.
Waldman International Contest
Students will be able to compete in an international art and writing competition for academic scholarships. With a different theme each year, students research one aspect of the Holocaust, then create a unique piece of art or writing inspired by that theme. The LIGHT Center provides a space for Waldman International art and writing to remain permanently on display.
Below are the entries from the 2018-2019 Shaler Area High School Waldman International Contest. These are currently on permanent display in Shaler Area High School’s LIGHT Center. You can click on an image to see the artist’s name and statement.