We are proud to announce the achievements of two talented ninth-grade students from Peninsula High School in the Writing, Art, and Film Contest organized by the Holocaust Center for Humanity. Elisha C. secured 2nd place in the Physical Art category, while Jonas K. achieved 2nd place in the Argumentative Essay category.
Over 32 schools participated and submitted more than 500 entries. Elisha and Jonas stood out among their peers, showcasing their exceptional skills and creativity. As a well-deserved recognition of their accomplishments, both students were awarded a prize of $100 for their 2nd place finishes.
This year, under the guidance of their dedicated teacher, Eileen Osera, the 9th-grade English class delved into the profound and moving memoir "Night" by Elie Wiesel. The students embarked on a journey, exploring the themes and lessons of the Holocaust and reflecting on its enduring significance.
As a culmination of their unit, students were given the opportunity to submit their final projects to the Holocaust Center for Humanity's contest.
Elisha's physical artwork captivated the judges with its poignant expression and symbolism. Here is her artist statement; “During World War II, Jews faced numerous trials. Elie Wiesel was one among the survivors. He shared his experiences with others who were unable to cross the finish line with him. Music was an important aspect of the Jewish resistance to the Nazis. My artwork displays music, fire, and faith. The Nazis’ oppression was symbolized by fire, as they would also incinerate Jews. I represented their faith as hands reaching out from the sky and music to represent their resistance. In Elie’s book, he mentioned a boy who played a German concerto which also gave hope to the prisoners.”
Jonas' argumentative essay skillfully presented a compelling perspective to the prompt; “Any study of the Holocaust raises questions about what might have been done to stop the rise and expansion of the Nazis in Europe. The Nazis built a society based on exclusion and persecution of the JEws and other marginalized groups in Germany and, eventually, throughout Europe. Over time, governmental leaders in the United States made choices that drove the American response to the atrocities committed by the Nazis and their collaborators. Was the American government response to the Holocaust (1933-1945) sufficient?”
These achievements not only highlight the talent and dedication of Elisha and Jonas but also reflect the commitment of PSD high schools to provide enriching educational experiences. Through the exploration of important historical events like the Holocaust, students develop empathy, critical thinking skills, and a deeper understanding of the world around them.
We are grateful to the Holocaust Center for Humanity for organizing this impactful contest and providing a platform for students to share their voices and perspectives. Together, we continue to honor the memory of the Holocaust and strive for a future rooted in empathy, understanding, and justice.
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