California Educator

August 2016

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Page 41 of 59

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature's law is wrong it learned 2 walk without having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, it learned 2 breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared. —Tupac Shakur T H E P O E M "The Rose That Grew From Concret e" i s th e f irst slide students encounter in the online IWitness activ- ity, "Finding Your Seat on the Bus." e activity lets students learn from civil rights activists and Holocaust sur vi- v o r s a b o u t w ith st a n di n g a dv e r sity, developing determination and grit, and practicing resilience — all while learn- ing about critical moments in history. Included is the story of Rosa Parks and her involvement in the Montgomery bus boycott, along with witnesses and activ- ists of similar movements sharing their own experiences. Started three years ago, IWitness is a free educational website of the Shoah Foundation , based at the University of Southern California. Educators can access over 60 interactive activities, and more than 1,600 video testimonies (500 of which are compiled into short clips) of survivors and witnesses of genocides, to teach students about the importance of compassion and bringing about positive societal change. IWitness offers teacher support and activities and curricula that meet the new state standards. " We offer training to help teachers integrate these testimonies across their The Power of Personal Stories IWitness connects students with history, current events through universal human experience As part of IWitness, Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone talks to students at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles. 40 teaching & learning

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