Historic Heroines Receives Grant

Historic Heroines Publishes First Book

Historic Heroines announced today that it received a grant in the amount of $3000 from Dear Esther Foundation to create a Classroom Edition to Children’s Letters to a Holocaust Survivor and launch its “Never Forget Esther” Tolerance and Anti-Bullying Program in three schools in 2017.

“It is our hope that this book will be a valuable resource in supporting and extending History, Literature, Drama, and ESOL curricula. The book is also an excellent resource for Tolerance and Anti-Bullying programs. In sharing her story, Esther Raab’s goal was to spread love and empathy and to fight hatred and bigotry,” said Executive Director Kristen LePine. The goal of the “Classroom Edition” is not only to share with you the letters and the play, Dear Esther, but also to offer educators a ways to use the material to achieve your specific educational goals. The new Classroom Edition with be divided into three sections: Children’s Letters; Dear Esther, the play; and Classroom Activities.

The Children’s Letters section will contain a curated collection of actual letters, poems, and drawings penned by middle school and high school students in response to seeing the movie Escape from Sobibor, based on Esther’s experiences; witnessing a live performance of the play Dear Esther; and/or listening to Esther Terner Raab speak at schools about her experiences during and after her imprisonment in Sobibor, a Nazi death camp in eastern Poland.

The Dear Esther section will contain the two-act play Dear Esther was written by Richard Rashke in col­laboration with Esther Raab, whom he interviewed extensively for his book Escape from Sobibor. The book was made into a movie of the same title. Although the letters can be read alone, we believe they will be better understood and appreciated if students also read the play and see the movie. Information on how to receive a free DVD of the movie is located at the end of this book under “Supplemental.”

The Classroom Activities section will contain suggested exercises and activities designed for classroom use to develop understanding and enhance learning. These suggested activities are flexible and can be modified to meet individ­ual learning goals. They can also be adjusted to the grade and age of the students. The activities and exercises will not be presented as lesson plans, but as frameworks for managing and developing an understanding of complex ideas. They also provide opportunities for students to iden­tify and respond to the material, both individually and collabora­tively.

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About Kristen LePine

KRISTEN LEPINE is the co-founder and Executive Director of Historic Heroines. An accomplished writer, educator and mother, Kristen is often inspired by history and current events. She wrote about Nellie Bly and mental health care in CRACKED POTS, a play commissioned by Theatre J in Washington DC. Currently she is working on a historical novel set in ancient Sparta. Visit her at www.kristenlepine.com.

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