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Dec. 14, 2016 - VCMS library transformed into Holocaust exhibit
Ms. Michelle Wittman, a guidance counselor at Valley Central Middle school, remembers the stories her grandfather, Frank Corbacio used to tell his grandchildren about fighting in World War II. Mr. Corbacio served as a Corporal in the 5th Armored Division from 1942-1945. He was part of a group that landed on Utah Beach during the Normandy Invasion. The 5th Armored Division was activated October 1, 1941 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. They were part of General Patton’s 3rd Army. Their identity was secret. They were often referred to as Patton’s Ghosts. It was one of the first divisions to breach many German strongholds. The 5th Armored or VICTORY Division was awarded the Croix de Guerre with silver star by the French Government; the Belgium Government Unit Citation. On September 9, 1989 the Luxembourg Government awarded the 5th Armored Division the Cross of Honor and of Military Merit. The 5th Armored Division is credited with these campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
On December 7, (the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor), Valley Central Middle School students, under the guidance of eighth-grade ELA teachers, Mr. Vincent Fino and Mrs. Terri Weiss, were able to experience the historic Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ld War II and the Holocaust, first hand.
The Valley Central Middle School library was transformed into a World War II and Holocaust Museum. Stations representing topics such as: Resistance fighters, Concentration Camps, Political Cartoons, the rise of the Nazi Party and the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor were strategically placed around the library. Students were able to see an authentic WWII serviceman’s uniform, pictures from the serviceman’s time in the army, original stamps and money from the Third Reich. Students were able to listen to video-recorded accounts of World War II from people who were impacted by the war, that were set up on various computers in the library.
At the beginning of each period, the teachers were each given an adult or child who was somehow affected by the war. The students read the brief biographies of these people and then had to answer general questions about what they were viewing at each of the stations. As one of the culminating activities, the students were invited to check a table that held the fates of the people they had read about during the period.
The project idea was conceived in part to raise the students’ awareness of their country’s history and also to complement their eighth-grade curriculum
The culminating event for each period was a reading by Mrs. Weiss of "The Terrible Thing, An Allegory of the Holocaust," written by Eve Bunting.