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At 10:37 AM 6/18/01 -0400, you wrote:
This is an amazing project worth reading about!!!


Ciao,
Charles R. Grefer

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Coordinator of Counseling & Advising, SUNY Orange
South Street, Middletown, NY 10940
www.sunyorange.edu; Phone: 845 341 4072    FAX: 845 341 4447

What ever you can do or dream you can - begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic! ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Failure is only an opportunity to begin again more intelligently. ~ Henry
Ford

The only time you can't afford to fail is the last time you try! ~ Charles
Kettering






>                         >
>                         >
>                                 >Subject:       Holocaust - Very Long BUT
> WELL WORTH READING
>                         >
>                         >>
>                         > > WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE
>                         > >
>                         > > WHITWELL, Tenn.-It is a most unlikely place to
> build a Holocaust
>                         > > memorial, much less one that would get the
> attention of the president,
>                         > > that would become the subject of a book, that
> would become an
>                         > > international cause.
>                         > >
>                         > > Yet it is here that a group of eighth-graders
> and their teachers decided
>                         > > to honor each of the 6 million Jews killed in
> the Holocaust by
>                                 collecting
>                         > > 6 million paper clips and turning them into a
> sculpture.
>                         > >
>                         > > This is remarkable because, for one thing,
> Whitwell, a town of 1,600
>                         > > tucked away in a Tennessee valley just west of
> the Smokies, has no Jews.
>                         > >
>                         > > In fact, Whitwell does not offer much
> opportunity to practice racial or
>                         > > religious tolerance of any kind. "Our
community
> is white, Christian and
>                         > > very fundamentalist," says Linda Hooper,
> principal of the middle school,
>                         > > which has 425 students, including six blacks,
> one Hispanic, zero Asians,
>                         > > zero Catholics, zero Jews.
>                         > >
>                         > > "During coal-mining days, we were a mixed
> community," explains the
>                         > > town's unofficial historian, Eulene Hewett
> Harris. "Now there are only a
>                         > > handful of black families left."
>                         > >
>                         > > Whitwell is a town of two traffic lights, 10
> churches and a collection
>                         > > of fast-food joints sprinkled along the main
> drag. It was a thriving
>                                 coal
>                         > > town until 1962, when the last mine closed.
Some
> of the cottages built
>                                 by
>                         > > the mining companies still stand, their paint
> now chipped and their
>                         > > cluttered porches sagging. Trailers have
> replaced the houses that
>                         > > collapsed from age and neglect during lean
> economic times.
>                         > >
>                         > > Only 40 miles up the road is Dayton, where the
> red-brick Rhea County
>                         > > Courthouse made history during the 1925 Scopes
> trial, the "monkey
>                         > > trial," in which teacher John T. Scopes was
> convicted of violating a
>                         > > Tennessee law that made it unlawful "to teach
> any theory that denies the
>                         > > story of Divine Creation" and to teach
Darwinian
> evolutionary theory
>                         > > instead. Almost eight decades later, most
people
> in this Sequatchie
>                                 River
>                         > > valley hold firmly to those beliefs under the
> watchful eyes of their
>                         > > church leaders.
>                         > >
>                         > > "Look, we're not that far away from the Ku
Klux
> Klan," founded only 100
>                         > > miles west, in Pulaski, Tenn., says Hewett
> Harris. "I mean, in the 1950s
>                         > > they were still active here."
>                         > >
>                         > > Such is the setting for a memorial not only to
> remember Holocaust
>                         > > victims but, above all, to sound a warning on
> what intolerance can
>                                 wreak.
>                         > > The Whitwell students and teachers had no idea
> how many lives they were
>                         > > about to touch.
>                         > >
>                         > > Math and History The Holocaust project had its
> genesis in the summer of
>                         > > 1998 when Whitwell Middle's 31-year-old deputy
> principal and football
>                         > > coach,David Smith, attended a teacher training
> course in nearby
>                         > > Chattanooga. A seminar on the Holocaust as a
> teaching tool for tolerance
>                         > > intrigued him because the Holocaust had never
> been part of the middle
>                         > > school's curriculum and was mentioned only
> tangentially in the local
>                                 high
>                         > > school.
>                         > >
>                         > > He came back and proposed an after-school
course
> that would be
>                                 voluntary.
>                         > > Principal Hooper, 59, loved the idea. "We just
> have to give our
>                         > > children a broader view of the world," she
says.
> "We have to crack the
>                         > > shell of their white cocoon, to enable them to
> survive in the world out
>                         > > there."
>                         > >
>                         > > She was nervous about how parents would react,
> and held a parent-teacher
>                         > > meeting. But when she asked the assembled
adults
> if they knew anything
>                         > > about the Holocaust, only a few hands went up,
> hesitatingly. Hooper, who
>                         > > has lived in Whitwell most of her life and had
> taught some of the
>                                 parents
>                         > > in elementary school, explained the basics.
>                         > >
>                         > > Just one parent expressed misgivings: Should
> young teenagers be shown
>                         > > terrifying photos of naked, emaciated
prisoners?
> Hooper admitted she
>                         > > wasn't sure. "Well," the father asked, "would
> you let your son take the
>                         > > class?" Yes, she replied, and the father was
on
> board.
>                         > >
>                         > > There wasn't a question about who would teach
> it: Sandra Roberts, 30,
>                         > > the English and social sciences teacher,
always
> a captivating
>                                 storyteller.
>                         > > In October 1998, Roberts and Smith held the
> first session. Fifteen
>                         > > students and almost as many parents showed up.
> Roberts began by reading
>                         > > aloud-history books, "The Diary of Anne
Frank,"
> Elie Wiesel's "Night"
>                         > > -- mostly because many of the students did not
> have the money to buy the
>                         > > books; 52 percent of Whitwell's students
qualify
> for free lunch.
>                         > >
>                         > > What gripped the eighth-graders most as the
> course progressed, was the
>                         > > sheer number of dead. Six million. The Nazis
> killed 6 million Jews. Can
>                         > > anyone really imagine 6 million of anything?
> They did calculations: If 6
>                         > > million adults and children were to lie head
to
> toe, the line would
>                         > > stretch from Washington to San Francisco and
> back.
>                         > >
>                         > > One day, Roberts was explaining to the class
> that there were some good
>                         > > people in 1940s Europe who stood up for the
> Jews. After the Nazis
>                                 invaded
>                         > > Norway, many courageous Norwegians expressed
> solidarity with their
>                                 Jewish
>                         > > fellow citizens by pinning ordinary paper
clips
> to their lapels.
>                         > >
>                         > > One girl-nobody remembers who it was-said:
Let's
> collect 6 million
>                         > > paper clips and turn them into a sculpture to
> remember the victims.
>                         > >
>                         > > The idea caught on, and the students began
> bringing in paper clips, from
>                         > > home, from aunts and uncles and friends.
Smith,
> as the school's computer
>                         > > expert, set up a Web page asking for donations
> of clips, one or two, or
>                         > > however many people wanted to send.
>                         > >
>                         > > A few weeks later, the first letter arrived.
One
> Lisa Sparks from
>                         > > Tyler,Tex., sent a handful. Then a letter
landed
> from Colorado. . . .
>                         > >
>                         > > By the end of the school year, the group had
> assembled 100,000 clips.
>                         > >
>                         > > It occurred to the teachers that collecting 6
> million paper clips at
>                         > > that rate would take a lifetime.
>                         > >
>                         > > Help From Afar Unexpected help came in late
1999
> when two German
>                         > > journalists living in Washington, D.C.,
stumbled
> across the Whitwell Web
>                         > > site. Peter Schroeder, 59, and Dagmar
> Schroeder-Hildebrand, 58, had been
>                         > > doing research at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
> Museum, tracing
>                         > > concentration camp survivors to interview.
>                         > >
>                         > > Schroeder-Hildebrand was author of "I'm Dying
of
> Hunger," a book about a
>                         > > camp survivor who devised imaginary dinners to
> survive; Peter had
>                                 written
>                         > > "The Good Fortune of Lena Lieba Gitter," about
a
> Viennese Jew who
>                                 escaped
>                         > > the Nazis and devoted her life to civil
rights.
>                         > >
>                         > > The Whitwell Web site came up during a routine
> search under "Holocaust."
>                         > > The idea of American children in a
conservative
> Southern town collecting
>                         > > paper clips intrigued the couple. They called
> the school, interviewed
>                         > > teachers and students by telephone, then wrote
> several articles for the
>                         > > nine newspapers they work for in Germany and
> Austria.
>                         > >
>                         > > Whitwell and the Schroeders were hit with a
> blizzard of paper clips from
>                         > > the two countries. The couple soon had 46,000,
> filling several large
>                         > > plastic containers. The thing to do, they
> decided, was to drive them to
>                         > > Whitwell, 12 hours away.
>                         > >
>                         > > They received a hero's welcome. The entire
> school showed up.
>                         > >
>                         > > None of the eighth-graders had ever met anyone
> from outside the United
>                         > > States, let alone anyone from Germany, the
> country of the Holocaust
>                         > > perpetrators. At the end of the four-day
visit,
> the students told their
>                         > > principal, "They are really quite normal."
>                         > >
>                         > > The Schroeders were so touched they wrote a
> paperback about Whitwell.
>                         > > "The Paper Clip Project," which has not been
> translated into English,
>                         > > was published in September 2000, in time for
> Germany's largest book fair
>                         > > in Frankfurt.
>                         > >
>                         > > The blizzard of clips became an avalanche.
>                         > >
>                         > > Whitwell eighth-graders came to Washington in
> March last year to visit
>                         > > the Holocaust Museum. They went home carrying
> 24,000 more paper clips
>                         > > collected by the Schroeders. Airport security
> had trouble understanding
>                         > > why a bunch of teenagers and their teachers
were
> transporting boxes and
>                         > > boxes of paper clips
>                         > > to Tennessee.
>                         > >
>                         > > Linked to the Past Just a year later, the
> Holocaust project has
>                                 permeated
>                         > > the school. The after-school group is the most
> favored extracurricular
>                         > > activity-students must compete in an essay
> contest for its 20 to 25
>                         > > places. They've become used to being
interviewed
> by local television and
>                         > > national radio. Foreign countries are no
longer
> mysterious, with
>                                 hundreds
>                         > > of letters bearing witness to them.
>                         > >
>                         > > The group's activities have long spilled over
> from Roberts's classroom.
>                         > > Across the hall, the students have created a
> concentration-camp
>                                 simulation
>                         > > with paper cutouts of themselves pasted on the
> wall. Chicken wire
>                         > > stretches across the wall to represent
> electrified fences. Wire mesh is
>                         > > hung withshoes to represent the millions of
> shoes the victims left
>                                 behind
>                         >when
>                         > > they were marched to death chambers.
>                         > >
>                         > > And every year now they reenact the "walk" to
> give students at least an
>                         > > inkling of what people must have felt when
> jackbooted Nazi guards
>                         > > marched them off to camps. The students are
> blindfolded, tied together
>                                 by
>                         > > the wrists, roughly ordered onto a truck and
> driven to the woods. "I was
>                         > > truly scared," recalls Monica Hammers, a
> participant in last year's
>                                 walk.
>                         > > "It made me think, and it made me realize that
I
> have to put myself into
>                         > > other people's shoes."
>                         > >
>                         > > Meanwhile, the counting goes on. It is
daunting.
> On a late winter day,
>                                 as
>                         > > the picturesque valley floor shows the first
> shimmer of soft green, 22
>                         > > students gather for their Wednesday meeting.
All
> wear the group's polo
>                         > > shirt, emblazoned: "Changing the World, One
Clip
> at a Time." The neat
>                         > > white shirts conform to the school's dress
code:
> solid-colored shirts
>                         > > devoid of large logos, solid-colored pants,
> knee-length shorts or
>                                 skirts,
>                         > > worn with a belt. Many of the girls have
> attached colored paper clips to
>                         > > their collars.
>                         > >
>                         > > These are no loose-mannered kids-they reply
> "yes, ma'am" and "yes,
>                         > > sir." Even lunch in the cafeteria is
disciplined
> and relatively quiet.
>                         > > Yet, there is an obvious and warm bond between
> students and teachers.
>                         > >
>                         > > The group's first item of business is opening
> the mail that has
>                         > > accumulated during the past three days. That
> takes half of the two- to
>                         > > three-hour meeting. A large package has
arrived
> from Germany, two
>                                 smaller
>                         > > ones from Austria and more than a dozen
letters.
> Laura Jefferies is in
>                         > > charge of the ledger and keeps a neat record
of
> each sender's address,
>                         > > phone number and e-mail address. One group of
> students responds to the
>                         > > e-mails sent via their Web site,
> www.Marionschools.org.
>                         > >
>                         > > Roberts opens the packages, which have been
> examined in the principal's
>                         > > office to make sure they contain nothing
> dangerous. "We've had a few
>                         > > negative letters from Holocaust deniers, but
we
> have never received a
>                         > > threat," says the silver-haired Hooper. "But
> even if we did, we would
>                         > > go on. We cannot live in fear; that would
defeat
> the entire purpose."
>                         > >
>                         > > The large package, from a German school,
> contains about 40 letters, with
>                         > > paper clips pasted onto each page. Roberts
> sighs. "This is a huge amount
>                         > > of work," she says. "There are days when I
> wished we could just stop it.
>                         > > But it has gotten way beyond us. It's no
longer
> about us. There is no
>                         > > way we could stop this now."
>                         > >
>                         > > When the students fall behind, it's Roberts
who
> spends hours sorting and
>                         > > filing.
>                         > >
>                         > > The students crowd around Roberts's desk and
> receive a letter at a time.
>                         > > They carefully empty all paper clips onto
little
> piles. Drew Shadrick,
>                         > > a strapping tackle on the football team, is
the
> chief counter and stands
>                         > > over a three-foot-high white plastic barrel,
> about the size of an oil
>                         > > drum. He counts each clip, drops it into the
> barrel, keeping track on a
>                         > > legal pad. Two other barrels, which once
> contained Coca-Cola syrup and
>                         > > were donated by the corporation, are filled to
> the rim and sealed with
>                         > > transparent plastic.
>                         > >
>                         > > "It takes five strong guys to move one of
those
> barrels," says Roberts.
>                         > >
>                         > > Against the wall this day are stacks and
stacks
> of boxes. In early
>                         > > February, an Atlanta synagogue had promised 1
> million paper clips, and
>                         > > sure enough, a week later a pickup truck
> delivered 84 boxes bought from
>                                 an
>                         > > office supply store. Half are still unopened.
>                         > >
>                         > > All sorts of clips arrive-silver- tone,
> bronze-tone, plastic- coated
>                         > > in all colors, small ones, large ones, round
> ones, triangular clips and
>                         > > artistic ones fashioned from wood.
>                         > >
>                         > > Then there are the designs made of paper
clips,
> neatly pasted onto
>                                 letter
>                         > > paper. If removing the paper clips would
destroy
> the design, the
>                         > > students count the clips, then replace them in
> the barrel with an equal
>                         > > number purchased by the group. The art is left
> intact.
>                         > >
>                         > > Occasionally a check for a few dollars
arrives.
> The money goes toward
>                         > > buying supplies. Both Roberts and Smith won
> teacher awards last year,
>                                 and
>                         > > their $3,000 in prize money also went toward
> supplies, and helping
>                         > > students pay for what has become an annual
trip
> to Washington and the
>                         > > Holocaust Museum.
>                         > >
>                         > > The students file all letters, all scraps of
> paper, even the stamps, in
>                         > > large white ring binders. By now, 5,000 to
8,000
> letters fill 14 neat
>                         > > binders.
>                         > >
>                         > > The letters are from 19 countries and 45
states,
> and include dozens of
>                         > > rainbow pictures, and flowers, peace doves and
> swastikas crossed out
>                         > > with big red bars-in the shape of paper clips.
> There are poems,
>                         > > personal stories.
>                         > >
>                         > > "Today," one letter reads, "I am sending 71
> paper clips to commemorate
>                         > > the 71 Jews who were deported from
Bueckeburg."
>                         > >
>                         > > One man sent five paper clips to commemorate
his
> mother and four
>                         > > siblings murdered by the Nazis in Lithuania in
> November 1941.
>                         > >
>                         > > "For my handicapped brother," says another
> letter. "I'm so glad he
>                         > > didn't live then; the Nazis would have killed
> him."
>                         > >
>                         > > "For my grandmother," says another. "I'm so
> grateful she survived the
>                         > > camp."
>                         > >
>                         > > "For my son, that he may live in peace," wrote
a
> woman from Germany.
>                         > >
>                         > > Last year, a letter containing eight paper
clips
> came from President
>                         > > Clinton. Another arrived from Vice President
> Gore, a native of
>                                 Tennessee,
>                         > > thanking the students for their "tireless
> efforts to preserve and
>                                 promote
>                         > > human rights," but including no clips.
>                         > >
>                         > > Every month, Smith writes dozens of
celebrities,
> politicians and sports
>                         > > teams, requesting paper clips. He gets many
> refusals, form letters
>                         > > indicating that the addressee never saw the
> request. But clips came in
>                         > > from Tom Bosley (of TV's "Happy Days" fame),
> Henry Winkler (the Fonz),
>                                 Tom
>                         > > Hanks, Elie Wiesel, Madeleine Albright. Among
> the football teams that
>                         > > contributed are the Tennessee Titans, the
Tampa
> Bay Buccaneers, the
>                         > > Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys.
>                         > >
>                         > > So many clips in memory of specific Holocaust
> victims have come in that
>                         > > one thing has become clear: Melting them into
a
> statue would be
>                         > > inconceivable.
>                         > >
>                         > > Each paper clip should represent one victim,
the
> students believe, and
>                         > > so a new idea has been hatched.
>                         > >
>                         > > They want to get an authentic German railroad
> car from the 1940s, one
>                         > > that may have actually transported victims to
> camps. The car would be
>                         > > turned into a museum that would house all the
> paper clips, as well as
>                         > > display all the letters.
>                         > >
>                         > > Dagmar and Peter Schroeder plan to travel to
> Germanynext week to find a
>                         > > suitable railroad car and have it transported
to
> Whitwell.
>                         > >
>                         > > They are determined to find such a car and the
> necessary funding. Like
>                         > > counting the clips, the task is daunting.
>                         > >
>                         > > Whitwell's Legacy Whatever happens, for
> generations of Whitwell eighth-
>                         > > graders, a paper clip will never again be just
a
> paper clip, but instead
>                         > > carry a message of patience, perseverance,
> empathy and tolerance.
>                         > >
>                         > > Roberts, asked what she thought she had
> accomplished with the project so
>                         > > far, said: "Nobody put it better than Laurie
> Lynn [a student in last
>                         > > year's class]. She said, 'Now, when I see
> someone, I think before I
>                                 speak,
>                         > > I think before I act, and I think before I
> judge.' "
>                         > >
>                         > > And Roberts adds: "That's all I could ever
hope
> to achieve as a
>                                 teacher."
>                         > >
>                         > > She gives this week's assignment: "Tomorrow, I
> want you all to go and
>                                 sit
>                         > > next to a person at lunch whom you never talk
> with, a person that nobody
>                         > > wants to sit with at lunch. I want you to stop
> one of those people in
>                                 the
>                         > > hall and say: 'Hi! What'd you do last night?'
> Now, don't make it obvious
>                         > > -- they may know that it's just an assignment.
> That would hurt."
>                         > >
>                         > > Drew pipes up: "Well, I've already tried that,
> but that kid-that, you
>                         > > know, he just sits there and stares, what can
I
> do?"
>                         > >
>                         > > "Keep at it-don't give up," says Roberts.
>                         > >
>                         > > Class dismissed.
>                         > >
>                         > > Latest count: 2,108,622 paper clips. 3,891,378
> to go.
>                         > >
>                         > > Paper clips are gratefully accepted by:
Whitwell
> Middle School,
>                                 Holocaust
>                         > > Project, 1130 Main St., Whitwell, TN 37397 ©
> 2001 The Washington Post
>                         > > Company.
>                         > >
>                         > >
>                         > >
>                         > >
>                         > >
>                         > >
>
>
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I am out of my office until Monday, June 18.  I will review my emails when I return.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-==-=-
Dr. Julia N. Visor, Coordinator
University Center for Learning Assistance
Assistant Professor of English
Illinois State University
Campus Box 4070
Normal IL  61790-4070
ph 309.438.7100
visit the UCLA webpage:         http://www.ucollege.ilstu.edu/ucla      
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