The Tour for Humanity spent today at in Barrie working with a school that has worked with our mobile classroom since our first year on the road in 2014. The Principal has always greatly appreciated our programming and our message. We provided workshops to intermediate students from grades 6-8 over the course of 6 Canadian Experience workshops.
Students were quite knowledgeable about the Holocaust,and as such we were able to have some good discussions. Right away a student wanted to know why Hitler targeted the Jewish people, so there was a discussion about the "scapegoat" mentality. Daniella found that many of the classes did very much about Canada’s history. She spent a considerable amount of time on Residential Schools and the St. Louis, both of which really appeared to impact the classes. Many students could not believe that Canada could willingly reject Jewish refugees trying to escape occupied Europe.
Today we also had a large group of Grade 6 students at FSWC for an in-centre workshop who came to participate in a full day of Media Literacy, Propaganda, and Digital Hate workshops. Today’s group had quite a few history buffs in the class—Elena and Emily couldn’t believe how much history some of them knew for such a young age! Interest in the Second World War is always such a great starting point to delve further into the history of the Holocaust, so we appreciate when students come in with knowledge they have learned from their parents and grandparents.Knowledge of Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin gave us a good starting point when discussing effective methods of propaganda leading up to and during the Second World War.
In the afternoon, we spoke with students at length about cyberbullying and how hateful online communication can easily transfer into the offline world. We reminded students that what happens online is real life, and to always be vigilant about what they post as well as to be aware of what others post. We ended the day with a really good discussion about how young people can take charge and be “upstanders” in their daily lives. Despite the fact that they are just starting out in the world, they have to practice standing up against bullying and discrimination when they are young so that it becomes second nature when they are old enough to make a bigger impact within Canadian society.