Mahalo Hawai'i! Echoes and Reflections Reaches 50th State


Deborah Batiste with hosts Professor Mitch Yamasaki, Lisa Yamaki, and Robert Buss.

Deborah Batiste with hosts Robert Buss, Lisa Yamaki, and Professor Mitch Yamasaki.

Saturday August 27th, 2016 Echoes and Reflections reached its 50th state with our first professional development program in Hawai’i.

Sponsored by the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities (HCH), a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities whose mission is to promote public humanities among citizens of Hawai’i, this full day professional development program was the first major workshop HCH has offered on Holocaust education.

“We are extremely grateful to all of those involved with Echoes and Reflections for the truly excellent workshop presented last Saturday,” shared Robert Buss, Executive Director of HCH. With nearly fifty educators in attendance, the workshop held in Honolulu at Chaminade University, was well attended by teachers and librarians from the islands of O’ahu, Maui, Hawai’i, and Moloka’i.

“The digital resources and Teacher’s Resource Guide are amazing,” Buss adds. “Rich with the stories of those who experienced this history, with well thought-through approaches to teaching such difficult history in our local classrooms.”

Echoes and Reflections Project Director, Deborah Batiste, facilitated an interactive program that focused on stimulating student engagement, critical thinking, and providing students with the opportunity to see the relevance of the complex history of the Holocaust in their own lives. “It was a wealth of information that I will certainly apply to my classroom,” shared Kathryn Castillo, a social studies teacher in Honolulu.

The program also featured a special focus on the 2017 National History Day theme: Taking a Stand in History. As a signature program of HCH, Hawai’i History Day has been a project based learning opportunity for private, public, and charter schools statewide since 1990. Buss shared, “I expect a good number of history day projects related to the Holocaust focusing on the national theme this year… certainly timely and most relevant to the subject of this professional development program.”

Participants in the 2016 Hawaii Program