New Website Complements Armenian Genocide Instruction

SAN FRANCISCO–The Bay Area Armenian National Committee reached the second major milestone in its education project by publishing TeachGenocide.org–a website designed specifically for school teachers–which provides extensive classroom-specific resources for lessons about the Armenian Genocide. The project is part of the Bay Area ANC’s "Tolerance Through Education" campaign developed in collaboration with ANC’s national and regional headquarters and a network of local chapters. Recognizing the need for a complementary curriculum-based website–the ANC began work on "TeachGenocide.org." Designed by Bay Area ANC Education Project Director Raffi Momjian–TeachGenocide.org is targeted toward school teachers–administrators and students–and provides easy access to documen’s about human rights–genocide–World War I and the Armenian Genocide–in particular. In addition to lesson plans–teachers can download a bibliography of historical texts–news coverage–maps–photographs and age-appropriate literature–including poems and prose–as well as a list of websites on the Armenian Genocide compiled by the Armenian Genocide Resource Center. The Armenian Genocide is a required part of the curriculum in California–Massachusetts–New Jersey–New York–and Rhode Island. "Having talked to teachers at national conferences and in local school districts–we know that many are interested in including the Armenian Genocide in their lesson plans," said Momjian. "We hope that TeachGenocide.org–coupled with our recently published lesson plans–will help teachers effectively bring this history to their students." One of the most engaging sections of the site provides personal accounts from genocide survivors. The accounts are the result of the efforts of the Genocide Project–which showcases the work of photographers Ara Oshagan and Levon Parian. The portraits of the survivors and their respective interviews were featured in the Los Angeles Times and exhibited in government buildings and private venues across the country. The 5-minute video "The Armenian Genocide," produced by Peter Jennings in 1999 for ABC News’ World News Tonight is also available to download from the "Videos" page of the website. Other videos about the Armenian Genocide are also listed and can be obtained from the ANC or the Armenian Film Foundation. Within the "Teaching Guides" section of the site–the handbook–"The Armenia’s–Shadows of a Forgotten Genocide," published by the Holocaust Resource Center in Bayside–New York is available–as well as the "Model Curriculum For Human Rights and Genocide," published by the California Department of Education–and the Bay Area ANC’s lesson plans–"Human Rights and Genocide: A Case Study of the First Genocide of the 20th Century – Comprehensive Lesson Plans for Teachers." All of these teaching guides can be downloaded from the site in their entirety. Descriptions of other genocides and gross human rights violations are also included in the site: Native Americans–the Transatlantic Slave Trade–the Great Famine in the Ukraine–the Holocaust–the Rape of Nanking–Mao Tse-tung’s Cultural Revolution–the Cambodian Genocide–Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina–and the Rwandan Genocide. A comparative chart illustrates the similarities and the differences between the various genocides. The United Nation’s definition of genocide and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights are also available. "TeachGenocide.org," is being expanded daily as more resources are developed and others are made available electronically. "We are communicating with teachers regularly and will continue to incorporate their suggestions on the website," said Momjian. "We also look to Armenian-Americans across the country to make their local school teachers aware of this website and the teaching materials which are being made so accessible for the first time."

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