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FWISD To Launch City-Wide Read, Performance Program This Month

The Fort Worth ISD is partnering with the Dallas Holocaust Museum to present a City-Wide Read and Performance program this semester.

Kickoff celebrations are expected to take place September 17-26 at middle schools and sixth-grade centers across the District. At these events, sixth-grade students will each receive a copy of the book “The Children of Willesden Lane” by Mona Golabek, which they will read throughout the second six weeks, with daily lessons supporting and enriching the reading experience in literacy, social studies, and fine arts classes.

Students will be encouraged to write Ms. Golabek personal letters about their own connections to the novel and how it changed their view of themselves and or the world. The student letters have the opportunity to enter the Library of Congress Letters About Literature National Writing Contest.

“The Children of Willesden Lane” is the story of Lisa Jura, Ms. Golabek’s mother, who was a Jewish girl from Austria that sought refuge in England during world War II in 1938. She was part of Kindertransport, a rescue mission to save children threatened by Nazi persecution.

Ms. Golabek, a renowned concert pianist, is scheduled to do two exclusive piano performances of her book for the District’s sixth-grade students, November 26 at the Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium and November 27 at the I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA.

Organizers say “Ms. Golabek combines elements of storytelling, acting, and music to tell her mother’s inspirational story of survival during the Holocaust. The show expands on the themes found in the book and further demonstrates the power of the human spirit to persevere through the most challenging of circumstances.”

District winners from Letters About Literature contest will have a chance to participate in a "Meet and Greet" event with Ms. Golabek and have their books signed.

“This story connects students with history that continues to shape today’s world, while its story’s universality resonates with children and adults from all backgrounds,” said Joseph Niedziela, director of the Social Studies Department. “Through the story, students will deepen their understanding about the resilience of the human spirit and explore how mutual understanding, acceptance, and respect form a foundation for responsible citizenship. The overall experience of reading the book, engaging in the curriculum, and participating in a live performance, will establish enduring memories that yield lessons for students well into adulthood.”

District teachers and librarians have spent the last several months attending professional learning sessions on how to teach sixth-grade students about the book and the Holocaust in preparation for the program’s upcoming kickoff.

For more details on the City-Wide Read and Performance program, call the Social Studies Department at 817-814-2470, or the secondary literacy office at 817-814-2520. Information is also available at


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