Dallas Holocaust Museum partnership brings inspirational story to fifth-graders


The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District (ISD) and Hold On To Your Music, is sponsoring the first-ever City-Wide Read and Performance this fall for approximately 12,500 fifth graders, as well as students from several of the city’s Jewish schools. Students will read The Children of Willesden Lane, a true story of inspiration and perseverance in a time of war, and attend a musical performance by the author, Grammy-nominated classical pianist Mona Golabek.

The Children of Willesden Lane tells the story of Golabek’s mother, Lisa Jura, a 14-year-old Jewish musical prodigy whose family sent her from her home in Vienna to England on the Kindertransport after the Nazi annexation of Austria. While in England, separated from her family, Lisa made her way to the Willesden Lane orphanage, where her dream to become a concert pianist was realized.

“This story is a stunning testament to the power of music to lift the human spirit and to grant the soul endurance, patience and peace,” said Dallas Holocaust Museum President and CEO Mary Pat Higgins. “It’s especially timely in Dallas now, as we want to encourage positive classroom discussion on anti-discrimination and tolerance.”

The City-Wide Read and Performance for all Dallas ISD fifth graders and several Dallas Jewish schools includes:
• Personal copy of The Children of Willesden Lane (including Spanish Readers Digest)
• Attendance at a performance by Golabek at the Music Hall at Fair Park on November 14, 15 or 16
• Transportation to and from the venue
• Professional development for teachers and librarians on teaching Holocaust history and The Children of Willesden Lane
• Bilingual teacher resources and curriculum for English Language Arts, Reading, Performing Arts, Social Studies, Library and Media Studies

“The universality of this story reaches across all geographic, religious and ethnic divides and powerfully speaks to students,” said Vicente R. Reyes, Dallas ISD’s assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. “Through classroom curriculum, reading the book and attending a live performance, students will experience history, music, theater and a deeper understanding of acceptance, respect and most importantly, the resiliency of the human spirit.”

The City-Wide Read and Performance is funded by: the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas ISD, an anonymous donor, the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, Schultz family, the Center for Jewish Education, Humanities Texas, Aaron family, Funk family, Hogue family, Risch family, Folsom family, the Fruhman Foundation, Goldman family, Goldberg family, Levine family, Bauer family, Brown family and Greif family.

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