This year the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center (WSHERC) reviewed approximately 700 entries for the 2014 Jacob Friedman Writing, Art, and Digital Media Contest from students, grades 5-12, representing 64 classrooms from schools in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska.
This year the focus was on children, rescue, resistance, liberation, and refugees.
A panel of judges – educators, artists, and writers of various faiths and backgrounds – reviewed the entries. They looked for creativity, thoughtfulness, an understanding of the theme, as well as evidence of students relating their piece to a specific Holocaust testimony, text, or event. Judges wanted to know how Holocaust stories and events effect students personally, and how these students might change the way they react to future injustice.
All Lake Washington Girls Middle School sixth grade students entered the contest, and we are proud of each and every one of them for their thoughtful compassion and empathy.
Six members of the Class of 2016 placed in this year's contest:
WRITING – 5TH/6TH GRADE
1st Place: Mena, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Lindsey Mutschler. "Hope. There was a reason that this word was scarce during the Holocaust. There just wasn't enough. People in the Holocaust suffered unmentionable horrors, horrors that left many scarred and hopeless, with good reason." READ MORE
3rd Place: Mara, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Chelsea McCollum. "When someone says the name, 'Hannah Senesh,' what words come up when I think of her? For a start, she was brave, courageous, loyal, and confident. She was a Hungarian Jew that parachuted into enemy country during the Holocaust to help Jewish communities." READ MORE
ART – 5TH/6TH GRADE
3rd Place (TIE): Maya, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Lindsey Mutschler. Artist's Statement: The Anonymous Girl Diarist from the Lodz Ghetto was a young girl who lived in the Ludz Ghetto. She wrote in her diary every day for months. Her words were inspiring and really showed life in the holocaust in a beautiful, poetic way. For the contest, I wrote a poem in the shape of this girl. The poem tells of the girl’s words and their impact on me and my perception of the Holocaust. Surrounding her, there is barbed wire is made up of her quotes. I chose her because her words really changed my perception of the Holocaust: that girl could easily have been me.
Honorable Mention: Rachel, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Lindsey Mutschler. Artist's Statement: My art piece is of a bird cage with the names of the groups of people who were targeted in the Holocaust leaving the cage. The bird cage is black to represent the darkness of their world during the Holocaust, and also to represent being locked up and not able to escape. I chose to have the words colorful because it shows the diversity of the people and how they can’t just be a Jew or a Gypsy because that was how the Nazis saw them. I chose to do this art piece because it shows the victims growing and keeping hope even after the war.
Honorable Mention: Stella, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Lindsey Mutschler. Artist's Statement: My art piece is a mix between markers and collage. My art piece represents Kindertransport. The scene in my art piece is of some kids from Kindertransport on a boat going back home. I did silhouettes instead of detailed drawings because a lot of the kids when they came back their attitudes and expressions had changed because during the war they had to grow up fast and be able to take care of themselves and many others. The Star of David is there to represent that they’re Jewish. I wanted to do a symbol for Kindertransport because I am a kid and I wanted to learn more while I was making this art piece.
DIGITAL MEDIA – 5TH-12TH GRADE
2nd Place: Julia, Grade 6, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle. Teacher: Chelsea McCollum. "Brundibar"
Those who entered the contest were asked to address its theme by creating a piece about a real person, event or story that inspired them.
It is through the study of the Holocaust that our students and community learn about human behavior, social responsibility, moral courage, the importance of speaking out against intolerance, and the difference just one person can make.
Julia, Mena, Mara, Maya, Stella, Rachel, and the other winners will be presented with prizes and recognition for winning entries at an awards ceremony in Seattle on June 11.