The students from the Bayshore Christian School in Tampa, Florida, recently came to a Memory Project workshop at the Florida Holocaust Museum. Their beloved former teacher, Larry Grimes taught at Bayshore for 7 years. After “retiring,” he joined the Holocaust Museum as a Museum Educator and Resource Coordinator. His students threw their arms around him when they saw him at the museum and reprimanded The Memory Project staff for calling him Larry. “You have to call him Mr. Grimes!”
After watching the Memory Project exhibit videos and looking at a selection of remembrance portraits, we asked them to share their reactions. These are some of the most articulate and insightful kids we’ve worked with. It was a thrill to see how much they observed and how eager they were to express themselves, sharing their thoughts, and respectfully listening to each other’s observations.
Later, they wrote down their reactions:
“The…painting gives you a feeling of wanting to look at him and know Kalman’s story.” —Ashley D.
“I feel like each picture has its own story behind it…The colors have feelings.” —Devin W.
“I was overcome with the feeling I knew Kalman myself….The paintings gave the feeling of how Kalman felt, a young boy know knowing what would happen to him.”
— Antonio O.
After the exhibit, the students had a chance to make portraits and learn the stories of other Holocaust victims and survivors using black and white pastels and charcoal. Some of the portraits were of survivors from the St. Pete community, which was especially poignant.
We’re so proud of all of these curious and creative kids, and moved by their observations. Visit this site tomorrow to find out which of their portraits will be featured as The Portrait of the Month.
—Roz Jacobs, The Memory Project co-founder and niece of Kalman Jacobs, who was lost in the Holocaust