In-School Exploration

Provider: Better Futures Foundation

Contact: Richard Ohlsson

Starting cost per student: $25

Additional Info: The learning experience total cost is $750 which includes teachers briefing, 3 in-school visits and learning material.

Max. Capacity: 30

Transportation Needed?  No

Who Arranges Transportation?

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  Yes


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Looking at the Past and  Learning from the emerging future.

A transformative learning experience promoting social justice and civic responsibility

The learning experience looks at the past – a uniquely important rescue action during WWII – and connects with the present as well as the emerging future [a divided nation, displaced human beings, refugee situation, migration etc ]

It has the potential to serve as a transformative educational experience promoting social justice, civic responsibility and compassionism, thus bridging the gap of relevance; why are history’s lessons adaptable today and what’s my role?

Format of the exploration:

The learning experience consists of 3 visits  + a teacher briefing prior to the learning experience.  The program is always tailored to fit your schedule.

Students will reflect on how citizenship was displayed in the past and reflect upon and discuss the questions: How can we be good citizens today and how does this relate to the present and our emerging future.

  1] “How a jar of potato salad led to the rescue of 15,500 Holocaust victims.”  [45 minutes]

Session consists of a powerful engaging multi-media presentation and reflecting questions.  Online questionnaire after session.

Students will be introduced to a little-known uniquely important historical event which took place in Nazi-occupied territories and Sweden during and after World War II; The Swedish Red Cross White Bus Rescue Action.

Students will hear about highly decorated compassionate citizens and reflect upon their compassionate actions and hear a gripping personal story from Elsie rescued by the White Buses.

2]  “Looking at the Past and Learning from the Emerging Future”   [approx. 45 + 45 minutes]

Sessions consists of a 20-min movie followed by a workshop with self-reflective worksheets and peer discussions. The movie introduces the students to Holocaust survivors as well as refugees and displaced humans of today.  The workshop challenges the students to develop empathy.

3] “With Compassion We Create Better Futures” [45 minutes]

Session consists of a recap of sessions 1 and 2 followed by a workshop with focus on developing awareness, compassionate citizens, acceptance, tolerant attitudes and encouraging civility. Self-assessments and peer discussions. The students will leave with a self-created roadmap [journal]

Why is this learning experience important to your students need?

The learning experience will create agents of change and teach moral responsibility. It will build tolerant attitudes, cooperative and collaborative behaviors, compassion as well as further skills encouraging civility.

The historical context of the White Bus rescue action in World War II offers a clear example of courageous, moral advocacy in the face of systemic injustice.

The students will be introduced to the perspective of life goals, purpose and passion, thereby further develop:

  • Awareness – Learn from our past.
  • Empathy– Place us in the shoes of others.
  • Intervention – Discuss the actions of ordinary heroes.
  • Responsibility – Create a unique call to action (culminating activity)
  • Compassionate actions & self-compassion.

How does the learning experience connect to the Florida state educational standards?

During the learning experience, we will analyze, identify and recognize the impact of the Holocaust during WWII on Jews as well as other groups. Exemplify how groups were treated badly because they were different.

CPALM SS.912.A.6.3  Analyze, identify and recognize the impact of Holocaust during WWII on Jews as well as other groups. Recognize that groups may be treated badly because they are different.


The importance of the learning experience is expressed in Florida Statue 1003.42 (g)

“The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions.”

and the learning experience will address this by exemplifying how Nazi Germany systematically annihilated anybody who did not match the standard of the Nazis. Students will be introduced to Elsie; a American citizen Roman Catholic who was rescued by the White Buses from Ravensbrück, and Iwanna; a Ukrainian Roman Catholic political prisoner in Ravensbrück.

We will discuss what it means to be a responsible and respectful person by showcasing how ordinary people through compassionate actions changed the life of thousands.

The learning experience points to learning from the Holocaust, not only knowing about the Holocaust.



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