Repairing the world, one play at a time
The Jewish News (January 2017)
What began as an extracurricular National History Day project at a high school in a rural Kansas city has turned into a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to repair the world by developing unsung hero projects in K-12 schools worldwide using drama, film documentaries and exhibits.
In fall 1999, a teacher in Uniontown, Kansas encouraged three students to work on a yearlong National History Day project. This teacher, Norm Conard, had found a clipping in a 1994 issue of U.S. News and World Report that mentioned a woman named Irena Sendler saving 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. Because details of her story weren’t known at that time, he told his students that it might be a typographical error and encouraged his students to see what they could find out about her. From their research, they wrote a play, “Life in a Jar,” which won first place in a school district contest in February 2000 and later in the state’s History Day competition.