Jillian Lalonde of Rome, a teacher at Herkimer Middle School, is among 260 teachers nationwide who completed a professional development conference in Washington, D.C. regarding educating students about the Holocaust.
Lalonde attended the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s annual Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators, in a three-day workshop hosted by the museum on July 22-24.
The conference is a vital part of the museum’s ongoing effort to equip educators with the knowledge and skills to effectively bring Holocaust education into their classrooms, according to a museum announcement.
The museum “works to ensure teachers have the training and resources they need to introduce their students to this important and complex history — and show them how its lessons remain relevant to all citizens today,” said Gretchen Skidmore, director of education initiatives for the museum’s William Levine Family Institute for Holocaust Education.
The institution provides teachers with advanced tools and teaching materials for students of history, English, social studies, language arts, library science, journalism and more.
Lalonde, a special education teacher in Herkimer who recently was an English teacher in the Oriskany school district, said she hopes to apply her experiences from the conference during push-in sessions in general education English classes.
She said her trip to the conference was funded with the help of a scholarship that she applied for and received.
During the conference, participants teamed up with museum educators and scholars in sharing rationales, strategies and approaches for teaching about the Holocaust.