DASD facilities restores Holocaust Memorial at Downingtown West

DASD staff and community members gathered to plant flowers and contribute to the restoration of the district’s Holocaust Memorial

Through its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs, Downingtown Area School District (DASD) aims to provide a culture of inclusivity and empathy, fostering educational equity that can grow, flourish and reach beyond the DASD community. In May, DASD celebrated the incredible contributions that Jewish Americans through a variety of events, celebrations and social media posts. In further recognition of this special month, the DASD facilities department has restored a Holocaust Memorial that was created for the district in 2004.

In 2004, Downingtown High School West student Roseanne Bertone created the memorial as tribute to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. The project served as a graduation requirement and also a Gold Project for the Girls Scouts.

The newly-restored memorial includes a garden and a sundial that administrators and students from Downingtown High School West Campus Technology Education Department helped to install. All four sides of the memorial display the names of survivors who have spoken at Downingtown Area School District. Attached to the front of the memorial is a Star of David, created by the school’s art department.

The memorial has had a significant impact on the entire DASD community, and last week, community members gathered to plant flowers and contribute to the memorial restoration.

“I’m so happy to hear about the up keep of the Holocaust Memorial from Downingtown School District and West High School. The initial project was truly a community, collaborative effort, with everyone from principals to shop teachers, art students to orchestra members participating to make the memorial and dedication possible. I am proud to see the spirit of community contribution,” said Roseann Bertone.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director Justin Brown states, “Our celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month represents a real opportunity to further the conversation of creating more equitable and inclusive institutions. I’m proud of the community for rallying behind this initiative and for helping to restore this special memorial. We look forward to a rededication of this memorial next year!”

While DASD schools continues to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month throughout May, there are numerous community activities scheduled within the greater Downingtown Area. Please check local listings for events and programming.

To learn more about DASD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, and to see examples of its program in action, please visit www.dasd.org/diversity.

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