TOM BEAN, TX-Hundreds of Tom Bean students are learning about one of the world's worst tragedies and using that lesson to spread a message of respect and tolerance for others.
Tom Bean Middle School students worked on a "Holocaust project" for three weeks, not only to educate the community about the historical event, but also how to avoid history from repeating itself.
Parents and visitors milled through the hallways of Tom Bean Middle School looking through exhibits of "the Holocaust Project." Students created timelines, built replicas of concentration camps and even dressed up as key figures in the event. But 8th grader Taylor Canada and her group took the exhibit to another level by building a box car to scale as the ones that transported prisoners to concentration camps.
"It was a lot tougher in there than I thought it was. I didn't know they had to live through all the hot and cold weather and all that stuff for that long just to be slaves pretty much," she said.
Visitors were invited to spend a minute inside to see what it could've been like.
"Well we wanted to kinda make them feel how they felt when they were travelling over there, because they were packed in there for 2-5 days, like crammed in there so they couldn't do anything," she said.
Project sponsor, Julie Cummings said the "Holocaust Project" was not just a history lesson but a part of a new program called "Negotiate."
"It's a special program for students to teach them how to talk to one another, how to listen and respect each other's opinions,"she said.
She said between 11 million to 17 million people were killed during the Holocaust because they belonged in different groups. Cummings hopes her students and community would learn acceptance and to stand up for what is right through the project.
"How to be bold enough to stand up and, not everyone was a Schindler, but there's a lot of people did that helped the Jews and didn't just stand by and not do anything," she said.
To avoid something like the holocaust from happening again.
"I'm very proud of the students from what they've done and I think that they've learned through this project, not just of the history and that they've learned the personal aspect of this whole event."
Cummings said they are hoping to continue the "Negotiate" program in the next few years.