Tuesday, April 9, 2002

Never Forget: Holocaust Remembrance Day

Tuesday, April 9, 2002 is Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day set aside to honor the six million Jews who were killed between 1933-1945 in what is known as the Holocaust. In addition to memorializing the fallen, Holocaust Remembrance Day pays tribute to those who survived the horrible ordeal.

This day is about remembering. It is crucial that we, as citizens of the world, remember those who died. And, lest history repeat itself, it is essential that we not forget the horrors humans are capable of perpetrating against one another. Each new generation is further removed from the reality of the Holocaust; this day of remembrance stresses the importance of revisiting not only the horrific results of this tragedy, but also the circumstances that allowed it to happen. We must examine past mistakes in order to understand them and prevent their reoccurrence.

Use this day as an opportunity to start the important dialogue of remembrance and commemoration for those who suffered in the Holocaust.

Sunday, April 7, 2002

Up Close and Personal

PeachStar and Georgia Public Radio (GPR) recently joined together to enhance the educational experience of 25 fifth grade students from Glennwood Elementary School (City Schools of Decatur). On February 7, 2002, PeachStar invited this group of students to be the first-ever live audience during the broadcast of Soundscapes, on Georgia Public Radio. Soundscapes is GPR's daily classical music program, which features pieces from the most famous to the most obscure composers in music history. In addition, the program features live recordings of local artists here in the studio at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Chosen to participate in this special occasion was Mrs. Tanner's fifth grade class, who quietly filed into the GPB building that morning along with their teacher plus Glennwood principal, Jan Goodloe. After taking a tour of the GPB broadcast facility, the group made its way into the radio production studio where guitarist and cellist Jonathan and Jennifer Adams were preparing themselves for the broadcast! For one full hour, these lucky fifth graders listened as the Adams Duo performed key pieces of music from the Baroque period, asked questions of both artists, and shared information about their own music pursuits with our statewide radio audience.

PeachStar would like to offer special thanks to Dr. Ida Love, Superintendent of City Schools of Decatur; Chuck Miller, Director of Georgia Public Radio; Mrs. Tanner's class; Emilie Bush, who assisted the children in the studio; and Georgia Public Radio's Terrance McKnight who graciously hosted and produced the studio broadcast.

Make a Difference: Earth Day 2002

Save the Date! Earth Day 2002 is Monday, April 22. Begun in 1969 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day is a nationwide holiday to celebrate the Earth and bring attention to the environmental challenges and perils facing the world today. Though initially a grassroots effort, Earth Day has become an icon in mainstream culture, with millions of people around the world participating in events and activities designed to raise awareness about the current and future plight of planet Earth. In addition to offering students an opportunity to participate in the international dialogue about conservation and environmental restoration, scholars at the Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute say Earth Day provides an excellent occasion for interdisciplinary teaching and "school-wide participation in the learning process."

Environmental efforts are important not only on a global scale, but on a local one as well. Georgia has its very own environmental concerns, and Earth Day can serve as a springboard to help get your students and community involved in local clean up and conservation efforts. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the greatest ecological challenge facing Georgia is "protecting Georgia's environmental resources during this period of rapid population growth." With a population of more than 8 million, Georgia was the sixth fastest growing state in the U.S. in the 1990's. A constantly growing population means constantly increasing strains on natural resources such as water as well as an increase in the overall pollution of air, water, and land resources.

There are lots of things you can do in your school or even your classroom to celebrate Earth Day with your students. Activities range from poster contests to organizing nature hikes and community clean ups.

This April 22, celebrate Earth Day and bring the whole world into your classroom.

Wednesday, April 3, 2002

The Secret Seashore: Not a Secret Anymore!

Did you know that Georgia is home to the largest sand dune on the East coast? Or that troops of wild horses have run across parts of the state since the 1500s? Or that Georgia still has intact communities of the direct descendants of former slaves? You can find all of these things and more on Georgia's barrier islands.

In honor of Earth Day 2002, PeachStar will be airing The Secret Seashore, a Georgia Public Television original program written and produced by Frank Loose. The Secret Seashore tells the story of Georgia's 17 barrier islands. This hour-long program looks at each of these islands in both a historical and environmental context, offering an excellent opportunity for cross-disciplinary teaching and learning.

Barrier islands are large deposits of sand and sediment just off the coastline that serve to protect coastlines from the damaging effects of wind and waves and that also harbor a wide variety of plant and animal life. Stretching along the Atlantic coastline, Georgia's barrier islands are replete with natural and American history:
- Cumberland
- Little Cumberland
- Jekyll
- St. Simons
- Sea
- Little St. Simons
- Wolf
- Egg
- Little Egg
- Sapelo
- Blackbeard
- St. Catherines
- Ossabaw
- Wassaw
- Little Tybee
- Williamson

Georgia's barrier islands have several distinct ecosystems and biomes: the ocean beach, salt marsh, maritime forest, and freshwater slough. They exhibit plant life ranging from giant oaks and magnolias to marsh elder, cord grass, and, of course, sea oats. Wildlife include many imported as well as native species, ranging from Eastern Diamond rattlesnakes on Blackbeard Island and wild horses on Cumberland to lemurs and wildebeests on St. Catherines.

The Secret Seashore does a lot more than tell the story of the barrier island's natural history, though. The stories of these islands are full of Georgia's rich cultural history, exhibiting its African, European, and American influences. Through this intriguing documentary, your students will explore different eras in Georgia history, visiting such sites as St. Andrew's Lighthouse, the Gichi community of Hog Hammock, and the home of John Wesley, founder of Methodism.

Monday, April 1, 2002

Reserve Your Space for PeachStar's

Summer 2002 will be an exciting time for Georgia educators. PeachStar will be hosting a number of "Educator-In-Residence" programs this summer, including concentrations in the following areas:

Multimedia Integration Training - This training for K-12 educators includes video streaming, and the incorporation of graphics and original content into PowerPoint presentations.

Institute for New Media Specialists - Designed for new media specialists (less than 3 years of experience), this institute will provide an overview of PeachStar programs and services and includes strategies for effective media center operation.

Video Production - This training for K-12 educators held by GPB's production professionals, teaches the basics of television production .

Annenberg Professional Development Facilitator Training - This workshop for staff development coordinators provides participants with content knowledge and skills plus materials required for facilitating professional development telecourses at the district or school levels.

Strategies for Implementing SALSA in Elementary Curricula - This workshop for PreK-Grade 5 teachers Target Audience: PreK - Grade 5 teachers provides strategies on the effective use of SALSA in the classroom. SALSA is a Spanish foreign language program designed for elementary students.

Georgia Stories Curriculum Development - This workshop for fourth and eighth grade Social Studies teachers is a continuation of last Summer's Georgia Stories/ Georgia Studies: The Prime Connection Project. The focus is the teaching of history through primary sources.