Introducing In Our Hands: The Butterfly Project’s New Endeavor

Introducing In Our Hands: The Butterfly Project’s New Endeavor

Did you know that The Butterfly Project is spreading its wings even wider and embarking on a new endeavor? We are, and we’re so excited to officially announce it! Called In Our Hands Teacher Training, our brand new ½ day teacher-training program represents a significant step for The Butterfly Project.

Globalizing a local experience

As we highlighted in a previous blog post, our invaluable Education Team brings their professional experience and rich personal stories into local San Diego classrooms, providing students with a once-in-a-lifetime butterfly project experience. In addition to painting butterflies, they teach age-appropriate lessons about the Holocaust (for older students) and bullying (for younger students), and share their parents’ personal stories of survival from concentration camps. We know how transformative these experiences are for these students and we want to ensure that students across the country and around the world can have a similar experience!

Education Team member Judi Gottschalk introduces The Butterfly Project to teachers at a recent workshop.

That’s where our new In Our Hands Teacher Training workshop comes in!

For over 10 years, The Butterfly Project has supplied “butterfly kits” to schools near and far. These kits include ceramic butterflies and cards that share the story of a child killed in the Holocaust. These butterfly painting experiences are very powerful for students but while we directed teachers to educational resources, we never provided clear lesson plans to accompany the butterfly painting activity.
In early 2017, The Butterfly Project worked with our Education Team and Facing History and Ourselves, a world-renowned Holocaust Education organization, to build comprehensive lesson plans for teachers to use in conjunction with our butterfly painting activity. These lesson plans include stories of survival from Holocaust Survivors and second generation family members, allowing students across the country to hear the personal stories they may not otherwise have access to.
The K-5 curriculum was designed in a “staircase” format, in which each year builds on lessons from the previous year and takes kids from learning how to appreciate differences to recognizing bullying to understanding the power of one (click here to see K-5 staircase). The 6-12 curriculum integrates critical Holocaust-related lessons from Facing History and Ourselves with butterfly painting, and includes testimonies from Holocaust Survivors (click here to read about 6-12 lesson plans).

Education Team member Arlene Keeyes teaches about being an upstander.

Cheryl Rattner Price, our Executive Director, is also working with Joe Fab to create an educational version of our documentary film NOT The Last Butterfly as a resource for teachers to use in their classrooms. We expect this resource to be available in early 2018.

Upcoming In Our Hands Teacher-Training Workshops

The Butterfly Project has spent 2017 designing the workshop and attending professional development conferences with both Facing History and Ourselves and Paper Clips’ teacher training workshop, One Clip At A Time in preparation for this new endeavor.
We will continue to pilot our teacher-training program through December 2017 and will officially launch this new product in early 2018. We are hosting our next pilot workshop on August 31 for National City School District. On October 28th we will again be presenting an In Our Hands Teacher-Training Workshop with Facing History.
If you would like to attend or know of an educator that might be interested in attending one of workshops in the San Diego or Los Angeles areas, please email us and let us know.
If you would like to bring In Our Hands Teacher-Training Workshop to your community in 2018, please click here to join our waiting list.
If you are interested in supporting the development of this program in particular in districts with little or no funding, please email Cheryl Rattner Price for more information.