Lowell Milken Center Europe
The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) Europe, based in Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland, collaborates with European educators and schools to develop history projects about Unsung Heroes—those whose actions teach respect and understanding regardless of race, religion or creed. Poland was the home of Irena Sendler, the Catholic social worker who smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. Her remarkable story, which inspired the founding of the Center in Fort Scott, Kansas, stands as a testament to courage and compassion. In this spirit, through student-driven project-based learning, LMC Europe teaches that each of us has the responsibility and power to take actions that improve the lives of others. The Center provides educators with the opportunity to develop their professional skills and introduce innovative forms of teaching in the context of Polish and other European schools.
LMC Europe Coordinator Marzanna Pogorzelska, a 2013 LMC Fellow and award-winning educator with two decades of teaching experience, works to spread the transformational power of project-based learning with a focus on Unsung Heroes. She has completed two projects with her own students to date: a documentary, “Call Me Auntie,” and a website, “Under the Seagull’s Wings.” Published by the Center for Citizenship Education as a teaching aid, “Call Me Auntie” tells the story of Inga Mirga, a Roma woman working for tolerance in Warsaw. “Under the Seagull’s Wings,” a 2013 LMC International Discovery Award Winner, tells the story of a 15-year-old Polish girl, Meva, who climbed through a small hole in the Czortkow Ghetto during WWII to rescue 2-year-old Inka and raise her throughout the war before reuniting the child with her mother in 1945. Both projects received the Polish Minister of National Education Award for “promoting intercultural values” and have been used as teaching tools in classes devoted to multicultural education at two universities in Opole, Poland.
LMC Europe Achievements
- Approximately 300 educators and non-profit activists reached through educational forums in several European cities, including Warsaw, Ljubljana, Berlin and Karlstad, among others
- Unsung Heroes Project educational materials sent to over 20 schools in Poland and 28 educators/institutional representatives from 14 European countries
- Seminar conducted in Auschwitz for educators on the topic, “History and Human Rights: Remembrance, Education and Activism”
- Workshops conducted for educators and teachers’ trade union activists from Germany, Israel and Poland at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw
- Outreach to and coordination with:
- Center for Citizenship Education in Warsaw
- Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw
- Opole Regional Pedagogical Library
- Polish Alumni of U.S. Programs
- Polish Teachers’ Trade Union
- German Foundation for Remembrance, Responsibility and Future
- News coverage on Radio Opole, the leading regional radio station with about 200,000 listeners, and Gazeta Wyborcza
Contact Marzanna Pogorzelska to start a project in Europe.
Check out the LMC Europe Facebook page.