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Teaching Young Students About the Holocaust

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Nurit Stites is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She visits classrooms around Washoe County to share her family’s story with young people, and she spoke with our News Director Michelle Billman about her work.  

 

Stites speaks with Washoe County school children to help them learn about the Holocaust. She also works with teachers on Holocaust-related lessons. She says it’s important to make topics like bullying and segregation relevant to a kid’s life today, so they understand how a climate of hatred can be formed.

"Students are well aware of what happens in the lunchroom—who sits with whom and who doesn’t sit with anybody at all," she explains. "We talk about the violence that can come from that.”

Growing up as the child of a Holocaust survivor influences many aspects of life for Stites. Along with motivating her work, the experience has impacted her behavior and how she views the world.

“The idea of not having food in the refrigerator is frightening to me," Stites says. "It’s not going to be like, ‘Oh, that’s OK. I’ll go shopping tomorrow and get some food.' The idea of not having food is frightening.”

The Washoe County Library System is offering multiple events related to Holocaust education this month and is hosting the exhibit Hélène Berr, A Stolen Life through April 30. 

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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