Gavin South students hear Holocaust presentation

Gavin South Elementary School students sat wide-eyed Thursday as they listened to Holocaust speaker Fern Schumer Chapman during a presentation at the Ingleside school.

Schumer Chapman shared the story of her mother's childhood immigration journey as one of the children rescued from Nazi Germany and brought to the United States though a little-known program.

Fern Schumer Chapman is author of two books on the subject, "Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust - a Mother-Daughter Journey to Reclaim the Past" and "Is It Night or Day."

Her presentation explored the themes of immigration, assimilation, family legacy, prejudice, loss, identity formation, and bullying.

Each grade level at the school was treated to the hourlong program, which helps District 37 meet the state mandate for Holocaust education, officials said.

"It's nice when people from the outside come in and bring learning alive for our kids and teach them not only about history, but about tolerance for others," Gavin Elementary District 37 Superintendent John Ahlemeyer said. It's just very powerful."

Gavin South is scheduled take a field trip to visit the Holocaust Museum in May.

  Gavin South Elementary School sixth-graders listen intently as Fern Schumer Champman tells the inspiring story of her mother's immigration from Nazi Germany during a presentation at the Inglside school Thursday. Steve Lundy/
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