SAN FRANCISCO–One of the Bay Area Armenian National Committee’s (ANC) top priorities is to educate California public school students about the Armenian Genocide. As such–its Education Committee recently sent more than 10,000 brochures to public school History and Social Science teachers–informing them of the Bay Area ANC’s educational website TeachGenocide.org–and lesson plans–"Human Rights and Genocide: A Case Study of the First Genocide of the 20th Century."
"This direct mail campaign is the first step towards our long-term goal to reach all California high schools–making teachers aware of the resources available to them–and assist them in teaching about the Genocide as the state curriculum requires," said Bay Area ANC Education Project Director Raffi Momjian. "Several Bay Area school districts have purchased the lesson plans we developed with the San Francisco Unified School District–and have distributed them to history teachers. We plan to extend this initiative statewide."
Along with mailing the brochures–the Bay Area ANC continues to forge relationships with school districts beyond its immediate area. Momjian introduced teaching materials to 55 teachers in Elk Grove–as part of a workshop hosted by the State of California’s Center for Excellence on the Study of the Holocaust–Genocide–Human Rights–and Tolerance.
Created through the passage of Assembly Bill 2003 last year–the Center includes the ANC’s lesson plans in its website and materials. Conducted throughout four afternoons–the workshop included presentations on the Armenian Genocide by Professor Richard Hovanissian of UCLA Armenian Studies Program–Richard Kloian of the Armenian Genocide Resource Center–and Raffi Momjian of the Bay Area ANC.
Momjian will present the lesson plans and website on March 12 at a workshop for Pasadena teachers–hosted by the Pasadena ANC–along with the Pasadena Unified School District–and Assemblywoman Carol Liu.
"The education project provides a means to counter the ever-expanding campaign of Genocide denial being carried out by the Turkish government. The project helps to ensure that future generations of American youth have the basic education necessary to reject Turkish denial when they encounter it," said Momjian. "Working with ANC chapters across the state–we expect to expand on these successes–to help teachers consistently include the Armenian Genocide in their classrooms."