Superintendent Michael Harvey and Social Studies Department Head Eva Urban Hughes are pleased to announce that Masconomet Regional School District was awarded a Genocide Education Grant.
The school district received $20,000 in grant funds, which will allow for interdisciplinary opportunities within the humanities to enhance genocide studies across the middle school and high school curriculum.
Masconomet plans to partner with Salem State University’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) is committed to advancing research, education and public programming in the fields of Holocaust education, comparative genocide, conflict studies and human rights.
“We are thankful to the state for this grant, which will support our mission of celebrating diversity and the unique cultural heritage of our community and combating negative stereotypes and prejudice in school.” Harvey said.
In 2021, then-Governor Charlie Baker signed a law requiring that all middle and high school students be educated about genocide. For more information on that law, click here.
The goal of the new curriculum is to:
- To promote a broader understanding of human rights issues in general
- To examine the patterns of genocide that show how prejudice and hatred impact societie
- To reject group-specific targeting and prejudice that can lead to violence and genocide
CHGS will offer targeted professional development sessions designed to help participants both understand and teach content covered by the Genocide Education Act.
Potential training topics will include:
- Connecting genocide education with existing units on human rights and civic responsibility
- Identifying high quality, accurate, and affirming resources to use with students
- Historical instances of genocide with an emphasis on centering on the lives, cultures, and identities of targeted communities
These trainings will not only provide much needed content knowledge and pedagogical support, but will also enrich community understandings of civic responsibility, activism, tolerance, and diversity.
“The Social Studies Department is excited to continue our collaboration with Dr. Christopher Mauriello and his team at the Salem State University Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies,” Hughes said. “Many Social Studies teachers have studied and traveled with Dr. Mauriello in past years and this grant strengthens the connection between Masconomet’s Social Studies teachers and Salem State University. We are looking forward to building capacity in teachers in collaboration with CHGS to broach these difficult and important topics with our students thoughtfully and compassionately.” The district also plans to build a Holocaust studies library to support the current curriculum in place for 11th graders and allow equitable access to all students.”
The upcoming changes will directly affect 25 educators and 1,800 students in the district.