Savanna GEAR UP students tour the Dallas Holocaust Museum


WILBURTON, OK (Feb. 26, 2016) – Thirty–two GEAR UP students from Savanna High School recently toured the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education & Tolerance. The trip began early in the morning with a long bus ride to Plano, Texas, where the students were treated to a great lunch. Groups were formed and information was provided to them about the museum.

Students were divided into two groups when they arrived at the Museum. Museum Group Coordinator Adilene Hernandez greeted the students and provided instructions on how to proceed through the museum. Savanna students had the rare opportunity to be guided through the museum by a docent, a tour guide that is well educated in the subject matter of the museum. Each docent had personally traveled to each of the concentration camps and visited with many who were involved in the war and Holocaust movement. Having seen the actual places that were displayed at the museum, the docents were able to provide direct insight to many of the exhibits.

The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education & Tolerance was founded in 1984 and is dedicated to teaching the history of the Holocaust and advancing human rights to combat prejudice, hatred and indifference. The museum focuses a lot on a single day in the Holocaust, April 19, 1943. The students were taught the importance of the day and all the events that occurred that day. The docent guide took the students into the memorial room, and each student was able to place a rock of remembrance on a pillar of their choice that represented each of the concentration camps.

The docent tour was completed and the students were taken to a theater to watch a movie of stories from Holocaust survivors that were from the Dallas area. The hour–long video was touching. Some of the students were moved to tears. After the video, the students were given the opportunity to tour a special exhibit “Holocaust by Bullets.” This exhibit comes to the museum by a French organization and chronicles the lesser side of the Holocaust in which more than 2 million Jews were killed and left in unmarked graves throughout Urkraine, Belarus, and Russia.

Students toured the gift shop and returned to the busses and were treated to dinner in Sherman, Texas, before arriving back home to Savanna. The trip lasted over eight hours.

“It was a great tour,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Natalie Kennedy. “The students were very appreciative of the opportunity to visit the Museum. It was evident the tour had a profound effect on the students.”

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one that is cultural or educational in nature and one to tour a college or university.

Front Row: Gunner Oliver Row 2: Riley Gann, Justice Smith, Megan Kraft, Kristen Perry and Cade Lane Row 3: Lacey Lee, Carlie Reeves and Emily Mattioda Back Row: James Moore, Blain Martin and Andrew Sparks

Front Row: Justice Smith, Megan Kraft and Kristen Perry. Back Row: Lacey Lee, Carlie Reeves and Emily Mattioda

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