The Genocide Education Project To Create Rhode Island Curriculum

GenEd RI branch representatives (L-R) Pauline Getzoyan & Esther Kalagian

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Genocide Education Project has won a major grant to create an Armenian Genocide curriculum for secondary school teachers in Rhode Island.

The nearly $9,000 award was announced by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and private sources.

The grant will support the creation of a teaching kit and training workshops for secondary school teachers that will use the experiences of Armenian Genocide survivors who sought asylum in Rhode Island.

The new curriculum, titled, A Journey from Despair to Hope: The Story of the Armenian Americans of Rhode Island, will highlight the life of Margaret Garabedian Der Manuelian, an Armenian Genocide survivor who moved to Rhode Island in 1928.

The curriculum will also trace Der Manuelian’s family through three generations in Rhode Island. The teaching kit will include a video, primary documents, and educational guides. To introduce the materials to teachers, the team will host two one-day workshops in Rhode Island in 2011.

The Genocide Education Project is working with its volunteer-based Rhode Island branch, led by Pauline Getzoyan and Esther Kalagian, to create and promote the materials with project director Sara Cohan, who serves as the organization’s Education Director.

“I’m very encouraged that the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities has affirmed with this award that the history of the Armenian Genocide should be included in public school curricula,” said Getzoyan, who is the grand daughter of Der Manuelian.

Kalagian and Getzoyan have made significant strides in reaching out to Rhode Island educators over the past few years. They have created an awards program for educators and organized projects to spark interest in teaching about the Armenian Genocide.

“I feel that this grant awarded by the Council for the Humanities validates all our previous work in Rhode Island,” said Kalagian.

The Genocide Education Project is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that assists educators in teaching about human rights and genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching resources and organizing educational workshops.


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