Institute News

Education Staff Introduce IWitness to Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago will soon incorporate IWitness into some of their programs following workshops with students and program leaders last week.

Clauia Wiedeman, USC Shoah Foundation educational program designer, and Brandon Barr, IWitness regional consultant in Chicago, hosted an IWitness introduction and training for Boys & Girls Club staff from around Chicago. Wiedeman and Barr taught them how to use the IWitness website and discussed how they can incorporate IWitness into their unique programs.

Boys & Girls Clubs provide mentorship and after school programs for students in all grade levels, covering sports, arts, college prep, technology, life skills, and more.

Wiedeman and Barr’s training was attended by staff who lead a variety of programs and were very interested in IWitness and its content. One program, for example, partners with Story Corps to teach students how to create video interviews; the staff felt that IWitness would complement their activities by providing an outlet for students to practice constructing a project out of pre-recorded interviews. Another participant remarked that he could see many possibilities for using IWitness in Boys & Girls Club programs.

While Wiedeman and Barr were there, they also led seven students from the After School Matters program in the Roman Kent Information Quest activity. After they completed the activity, the students talked about what they had learned and had a discussion about bystanders. One student even connected Roman Kent’s story to what she had been learning in school about Africans being brought to America, and said Kent’s feelings of numbness after the trauma of the Holocaust must have been similar to how the Africans felt.

The Boys & Girls Club staff will now plan how to implement IWitness into their summer programs, and Wiedeman and Barr will continue to provide support and guidance.