GMS 8th graders experience powerful day of reflection

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The opposite of good is not evil; the opposite of good is indifference.  –Rabbi Abraham Heschel

On Thursday, November 20, thanks to the generosity and support of the Galvin CAPT, students in grade 8 social studies classes spent the day reflecting on their three-month-long unit on Facing History.

Holocaust survivor Janet Applefield

Holocaust survivor Janet Applefield

Since school began, the eighth grade history classes have studied the origins of conflict, intolerance, and most frighteningly, the impact of apathy and silence by looking at the genocides of the 20th century. It was the goal of this unit to teach students to accept others as they are and to have the courage to speak out against injustice whenever and wherever they might encounter it. On a personal level, the unit is a study in heroism and the power of the individual to make a difference in the world.

To help students understand the consequences of indifference and intolerance toward others, students shared the day with Janet Applefield, who spoke of her experiences as a Holocaust survivor. Students were then treated to a one-woman performance of an original play written and performed by internationally renowned storyteller Judith Black. This outstanding theatrical performance was again sponsored by the CAPT.

The day was somber and sad but filled with hope and promise and the reminder that one person — one random act of kindness — can change the world. It was a powerful ending to a powerful unit, one that will stay with students and faculty for a very long time.

The social studies faculty would like to thank all who shared their stories, their families, and the Galvin CAPT for their financial support and generosity.

Submitted by Elaine McCarthy

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