Eighth graders at Colonial Middle School spend a unit of English Language Arts looking at The Holocaust. For their end-of-unit project, they have several options for demonstrating what they've learned. Sachita Upadhya chose to pull the themes together through poetry.
"I have written other poems, and I really do enjoy writing them," said Sachita. "I use creative writing to process my emotions about certain matters."
"The Holocaust was a global tragedy that sometimes overwhelms students with numbers and statistics and facts," added CMS English Language Arts Teacher Josh Rothstein. "Poetry allows them to slow down and understand the complexity of the experiences and process the tragedy emotionally."
Sachita wrote several poems for her project, and her mother shared them with the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation. The group was in the process of hosting an event that celebrated the freedom of thought called History Is An Open Book. They felt that the poems reflected the creativity of the event and published four of Sachita's works in their newsletter. Her poem, Alive, Once More, remains on the organization's website.
"When my teacher told the class just how many people passed away during this period of our history, I realized the impact that this event had on our world," said Sachita. "I thought about the many people who have documented their experience and have their stories told around the world. But there are also many others whose stories aren't told. It is like they just vanished. I was inspired by that to write this poem."
Alive, Once More
The same skies
The same butterflies
The same trees
The same bees
From the past
It's like looking through a telescope
Noticing the fine details
That were overlooked before
Deserves to be seen
Keep them alive