What's in a Paper Clip??

Paper Clips: Such a Simple Object Turned into a Powerful Lesson
In 1998 Whitwell Middle School principal Linda M. Hooper asked Sandra Roberts to begin a Holocaust Education class that would be the basis for teaching tolerance in a voluntary after-school program. Sandra Roberts held the first class in the fall of 1998. Soon the students were overwhelmed with the massive scale of the Holocaust and asked Mrs. Hooper if they could collect something to represent the lives that were exterminated during the Holocaust. Mrs. Hooper responded that they could if they could find something that related to the Holocaust or to World War II. Through Internet studies, the students discovered that people used to wear paperclips on their lapels during World War II as a silent protest against Nazi occupation. The students decided to collect 6,000,000 paper clips to represent the estimated 6,000,000 Jews killed between 1939 and 1945 under the authority of the Nazi government of Adolf Hitler. After hard work and a lot of help, the students were soon able to fill an entire train car (that had been used during the holocaust to transport Jews to the concentration camps) with over 11 million paperclips. 6 million to represent the Jewish men and women who died, and 5 million to represent homosexuals, gypsies, Christians, and the many others who lost their lives..
On January 19, 2012, Block II sat together in a crowded room, watching this documentary. I looked around, and what did I see? I saw my friends, my colleagues, completely still (which happens to be quite a challenge for some) silently watching the story unfold. I saw tears, I heard laughter, I felt. This one film brought together 40 college students in a tiny room full of tables, smells, and uncomfortable chairs; and it made me think of how I might be able to bring together a class of 20 some students from diverse backgrounds - how I might be able to make a difference in their lives. And I thought... maybe I could introduce them to the paperclip.

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