Anne Frank’s Life

Anne Frank and her family had to stay in an attic from July 6,1942 until August 4, 1944, when  the Nazi soldiers found them where they were hiding. Then they brought Anne Frank to one of the German concentration camps. They also had to follow a special schedule in the Secret Annex which is where they were hiding for 2 years. There was a bathroom in the Secret Annex but if they did use the bathroom they could not flush the toilet during factory hours.

From 1940-1944 the Holocaust took place in Holland. The Jews were required to wear yellow stars to determine that they were Jews. They had to turn in their bicycles and they were not allowed to ride bicycles, ride in cars, not even their own, and they were not allowed to have their own companies. They were not allowed to use athletic fields, and they only could go to Jewish schools. They went into hiding in the Secret Annex on June 12th, 1942.

We talk about Anne Frank because our lives are so much easier, because she could barely sleep without being scared, Anne barely had anything to eat, Anne had no people to talk to because Anne had to be quiet. They were crowded in an attic, they also had to share rooms. The only food they ate was what they got and they didn’t complain. They were just happy to have food. They lived with another Jewish family and a single man, they got supplies and food from Christian friends.

Anne Frank was captured because she was Jewish. They had to start wearing the yellow star of David on their clothing. Hitler’s group used the symbol to identify that they were Jew’s and so they could be targeted. Jewish people got their rights taken away from them on September 15th, 1935, when they issued the Nuremberg laws. They also created 44,000 incarceration sites which included detention centers, forced – labor camps, and killing centers. They functioned independent of any judicial review, and torture, starvation, and mass murder were frequent. The life that Anne Frank lived during the Holocaust was hard, scary, anxious, worried, fearful, and crazy for only a 13-year-old to be living in that time. 

We are very lucky to have the sapling of the old Anne Frank horse chestnut tree that inspired her every day, when Anne was in the Secret Annex hiding from the German’s. Another importance is that 6 million people died in the Nazi period. Not many people survived in the concentration camps, because they were starved to death, given poor clothing, and got sick from not being warm in the winter’s, and not in sanitary conditions.

The facts we learned about the Holocaust are what it was like at that time and how the people lived. This article was to bring you facts about Anne Frank and how she lived at that time in 1942-1944, in Holland, Germany during World War 2. In school we have done projects to learn about the Holocaust for example we read Number The Stars, did a packet all about the Holocaust, and learned about the importance of the Anne Frank’s horse chestnut tree. By : Dylan and Victor 

Student Article by Cody, Caylee and Evan

This is our last 6th grade project about Anne Frank and the Holocaust. When we read Number the Stars, we learned about the Holocaust.  We learned that Jews had no rights and were being killed and taken away. This caused Danish people to help hide and take care of the Jews. The story, Number the Stars may be fictional, but it is very similar to the real life story of what happened to Anne Frank during the real Holocaust. She stayed with her family and other strange people in the Secret Annex for two whole years. The Nazi Party eventually found the Franks, and Vann Daans and sent them to concentration camps. In the camps everyone but Otto Frank died.

Anne Frank and her family were together in the Secret Annex 24/7 from July 6, 1942 until August 4, 1944 when they were found and captured by the Nazi Party. When they were in hiding, they were around each other all the time and had to be silent from eight in the morning until the store closed. This meant that they couldn’t talk, use the bathroom, or do anything that made noise. 

When they walked during the day, they had to wear socks or they would make a noise that someone might hear. In her diary Anne wrote, “As if I don’t hear ‘shh, shh’ enough during the day because I’m always making ‘too much’ noise, my dear roommate has come up with the idea of saying ‘shh, shh’ to me all night to. According to him I shouldn’t even turn over.” 

When the Nazi Party came to Holland in 1942, they started taking Jews to concentration camps. The Franks went into hiding. When the families were in hiding someone broke into the warehouse. This caused Mr. Van Daan to become nervous that they would be discovered so he made new, very strict rules to keep them safe. “For the last ten days Dussel hasn’t been on speaking terms with Mr. Van Daan, and all because of the new security measures since the break in. One of these was that he’s no longer allowed to go downstairs in the evening. Peter and Mr. Van Daan made the last rounds every night at nine-thirty, and after that no one may go downstairs. We can’t flush the toilet anymore after eight at night or after eight in the morning.”

While Anne Frank was in hiding, she was not allowed to go outside so her only sight of the outside world was a window in the attic that was next to a Chestnut tree. This tree was her only sense of freedom and happiness. When she felt down, she stared at it and wrote in her diary, it was the only way for her to get her mind off of the war.

Anne Frank’s diary today is written in more than 70 languages. It has detailed information from the Holocaust. Because Anne’s diary has this information it was sent to Mrs. Roosevelt, the president’s wife at the time and she personally wrote the introduction. This is why the tree and Anne’s diary are so important today. It is a great honor to be lucky enough to have a sapling from the real Anne Frank tree here at our school.  By Cody, Caylee and Evan

Southern Cayuga Conversations: Americans who tell the truth

Our conversation begins as we gaze at the faces of 20 Americans painted by Robert Shetterly. The artist draws us into their thoughts and feelings by the contrast of the soft background with the intense texture of color and facial form. Some are familiar faces and some we do not know. Some speak to us individually because of their expression, their age, their gender or their race. As we approach them more closely, we hear them speak.

Muhammad Ali: “If I thought going to war would bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people, they wouldn’t have to draft me.”

Helen Keller: “When one comes to think of it, there are no such things as divine, immutable, or inalienable rights. Rights are things we get when we are strong enough to make good our claim on them.”

Oren Lyons: “The law says if you poison the water, you’ll die. The law says that if you poison the air, you’ll suffer. The law says if you degrade where you live, you’ll suffer. … If you don’t learn that, you can only suffer. There’s no discussion with this law.”

Sherri Mitchell: “Rights and responsibilities cannot be separated. Every right that we stand upon must be balanced by a set of corresponding responsibilities. We cannot legitimately make a demand unless we are willing to take responsibility for creating a world were that demand can be met.”

Ai-jen Poo: “The 21st century way to create social change is to determine where we can create win-win-win situations around our values. These values are simple: ensuring we can take care of ourselves, our families, or communities and future generations to come.”

The portraits are displayed in the halls of the Southern Cayuga middle and high school, and were purchased by the Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Project from Americans Who Tell the Truth. These portraits bring to our community American citizens who have courageously addressed issues of social, environmental and economic fairness. The Southern Cayuga Central School District and Anne Frank Tree Project share Americans Who Tell the Truth’s commitment to providing a variety of resources to inspire a new generation of engaged Americans who will act for the common good, our communities and the Earth.

Elishia Hoatland, Christine Bartolotta and Sarah Birmingham had the challenging task of selecting these 20 Americans from a group of 250: “We want our students able to meet people who empower them and help them find their voice,” Christine reflected. “We want them to expand their world through conversations with those from different races, places, times and purposes.”

Sarah added, “Our middle school students are struggling to find their identity and expand their vision and voice. They are bombarded with media that often drowns out the voices that will allow them to grow. We want them to see the world through a wider lens.”

Elishia and Bill Zimpfer nodded in agreement. “We were committed to diversity in our truth tellers.” Bill, Elishia, Christine and Sarah comprise the team that teaches English language and literature at the middle and high school. Elishia continued, “As English teachers, we are used to discussing the truth in the literature we study together. We explore different cultures in a wide range of print and media and notice both the uniqueness of various voices and the commonality of human goals and aspirations. We know people have the power to change themselves and their world.”

Bill Zimpfer, who is also the president of the Anne Frank Tree Project board, added, “The New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Department of Education is in the process of drafting diversity and inclusion standards. Americans Who Tell the Truth puts us ahead of the game in these critical educational goals.”

I had spoken with the artist Robert Shetterly by phone the day before my conversation with our teachers. He spoke about his intimate relationship with his art: “Art allows me to communicate with myself. I paint an image; the image then speaks back to me, informs me of ideas and concerns beyond what I knew I had. The painting becomes a tangible fact in the world whose reality tells its own story. If it tells that story to me, I’m confident it will speak to others.”

All of us who have stood before these portraits have heard the stories and long to continue our conversation. Robert promoted the use of the website, americanswhotellthetruth.org, by students and the community. I have made many trips to the website and have been changed by meeting new Americans who share my goals and challenge me to engage more courageously with the environment, community and social justice. I cannot wait to talk to students about their reaction to Americans Who Tell the Truth. The conversation is just beginning, and the table has many places for those from the past, present and future who are committed to our country and our world.

Elaine Meyers Special to The Citizen

Watch Americans Who Tell the Truth on Facecbook

Southern Cayuga Conversations: Connecting at Wells’ Hallway for Cultural Humility

Elaine Meyers Special to The Citizen Jan 9, 2021 Updated Jan 10, 2021

Wells College Senior Kianna Stamps

As the Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Community Read team looks at 2021, we have a clear mandate to continue conversations begun in October with our discussion of Angie Thomas’ “The Hate You Give.” Sixty participants encouraged us to discuss racism throughout the coming school year and to develop partnerships that initiate and sustain conversations. Our hope is that continued sharing of ideas will foster understanding and equity.

Our next formal meeting occurred on Nov. 7 at Wells College in Stratton Hall and provided an opportunity for Community Read members to learn about the Hallway for Cultural Humility. A Wells’ college news release (wells.edu/multicultural-center) explains the concept of “cultural humility,” which originated in the health care field as a way for practitioners to better connect with patients of diverse backgrounds. The belief is that a humble and respectful attitude toward individuals of other cultures pushes us to challenge our own inherent cultural biases. The movement stresses the need to: maintain a lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique; to have a desire to fix power imbalances where none should exist; and to forge partnerships with other individuals and groups who advocate for positive social change.

As we settled into the Hallway for Cultural Humility, community members joined two Wells students, Jazzmyne Williams and Kianna Stamps. The meeting began with an introduction from Jazzmyne, who greeted the community and told her story of selecting Wells for her undergraduate work. She delighted her listeners when she recounted her first visit to Aurora and her memory of watching Hallmark movies with her grandmother. She could not wait to show her photos of this beautiful small town and historic campus to her family when she returned home to San Antonio, Texas. Jazzmyne gave an overview of her work promoting community connections and understanding as a student summer worker at the Aurora Farmers Market, and living off campus in her own apartment. The group then did self-introductions and broke into small groups to discuss books and issues associated with racism and community culture.

The highlight of my individual group conversation was getting to know Kianna Stamps, a Wells senior from the Bronx. Kianna is a double major in political science and sociology/anthropology, and is in the process of preparing two thesis proposals for the Wells Research Institutional Review Board. One thesis is on foster care and the second is on immigration. Kianna is graduating in only three years and will be spending her holiday break working on finalizing both proposals and beginning her research. During her self-introduction, she credited the skill of her professors in knowing when to offer guidance and when to let students follow their own instincts and use personal experiences in developing their research.

During our small group discussion, Kianna was asked directly her opinion on a matter of race. She paused and began her reply with, “I am one person and can’t really speak for everyone. I can’t really speak for all Black people just as I can’t speak for all women.” At another junction, Kianna told the group members that the most important question they should be asking themselves is what each person is doing to be actively anti-racist in their community. She talked about her experiences with “code-switching” and learning to be comfortable in academic and professional settings, as well as with her personal culture of family and friends. As the small groups reconvened and shared their insights, it was clear that some of us would make plans to meet again. I told Kianna I would love to assist her in her research if community connections were needed. We exchanged emails and our adventure was underway.

In the last month, Kianna and I have discussed foster care. Her research is limited to New York state, but she encouraged me to reach out to friends and family with experience in foster care. Community partners were identified as potential avenues to finding research families for her interviews. She has referred me to academic articles contrasting private and public foster care and adoption agencies. I look forward to providing any support she needs in linking with our community. I will bring my experiences in Arizona and locally with migrant families to our conversations on immigration and look forward to creating additional connections to those who can aid her research. What I treasure about these conversations is that Kianna’s work will make a difference in many communities, and our community connections are the needed next steps for equity for all.

2020 Southern Cayuga Community Read Recap

Each year the Aurora Free Library, Hazard Library and the Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Project come together to sponsor the Southern Cayuga Community Read. This year’s discussion of The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, needed to look different due to the challenges of the COVID19 health crisis. As a result, our community came together in both small in-person and virtual groups in record numbers. We doubled our participation from years past with nearly 70 people taking part in this year’s Community Read. We are truly thankful for all of those who participated, and for those who moderated these discussions.

While we had many meaningful discussions, our work is just beginning. We are heartened that participants have asked for follow up programming around the themes of racial injustice and furthermore, want to join together in actionable ways to make our own community a more equitable and inclusive one. We are currently planning future events and welcome your partnership. Whether you have suggestions for books, movies, speakers, programming or wish to donate towards future events we would love to hear from you. Please email scfranktree@gmail.com with any ideas or questions you may have.

With your support and partnership, we can continue to offer programming that honors the life and legacy of Anne Frank.  

Southern Cayuga Conversations: Anne Frank tree gathers community

Elaine Meyers Special to The Citizen

Spring encourages us to rejoice in all things green and growing. The Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Project continues to gather the community for conversations that celebrate our ability to learn and grow. As the community assembled for spring programs, I could almost hear Anne Frank’s voice: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

On March 22, the community gathered to share a meal, discuss books and view the film “Book Thief,” based on the book of the same title by Markus Zusak. Zusak was inspired by a true story his mother told him. She related watching Jews being marched down the street by Nazis when a boy offered a struggling old man a piece of bread. In response, the German soldiers took away the bread and whipped the man and the boy. Zusak saw this as the ultimate symbol of the difference between kindness and cruelty. Death narrates the story of Liesel, a girl growing up in Germany during World War II. Liesel is raised by foster parents and first steals a book from the gravediggers who bury her young brother. Books sustain Liesel for their power to preserve the truth and overcome even death in keeping stories alive. Program participants were encouraged to bring a book that they would hide from any tyrant wanting to control the truth by burning books. One young reader needed the group to vote on the proper pronunciation of “Aesop,” with either an “A” or “E” as initial sound. The vote was inconclusive, and her wise mother commented, “It really doesn’t matter how you pronounce the author’s name, you just need to read the Fables and discuss them.”

Some adults brought books that had been required reading. “Of Mice and Men” sparked a conversation by a group who vividly remembered discussing the nature of evil in English classes in the 1960s. Conversations sprang up between those whose books were by the same authors, John Steinbeck and J.K. Rowling, and by those who loved fantasy, science fiction or classics like “Crime and Punishment,” the Bible or “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

May 1, 2019

With Anti-Semitic Incidents in Schools on the Rise, Teachers Grapple With Holocaust Education

PRIL 30, 2019 / by MARCIA ROBIOU Abrams Journalism Fellow, FRONTLINE/Columbia Journalism School Fellowship

On June 12, 2013, kids in Cayuga County, New York, were getting antsy: the sun was shining, the sky was bright blue, and the school bell was about to ring. Excitement built as the students gathered outside, some staring longingly at the nearby playground.

For the adults present, however, it was a somber occasion. Southern Cayuga Central School was about to plant one of the saplings of the Anne Frank tree — a horse chestnut that served as a symbol of hope to the teenager. Frank watched it for years from a window of an attic in Amsterdam, where her family lived in hiding.

“From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine,” Frank wrote in her diary on February 23, 1944. “As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances might be.”

Frank’s tree fell during a storm in 2010, after years of suffering from a fungal disease. But in the years leading up to its collapse, New York City’s Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect secured 11 saplings to distribute across the U.S. One is planted on the west lawn of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Another sits in New York City’s 9/11 Memorial at Liberty Park. And, thanks to Southern Cayuga Central School English teacher Bill Zimpfer, another has taken root in a rural dairy farming community.

When Zimpfer first read about the sapling initiative, he immediately went to his superintendent for permission to apply. “This chestnut tree — this was like the Dutch Statue of Liberty,” he told FRONTLINE. “It symbolized their resistance to the Nazis and the Nazi philosophy.”

The superintendent gave him the green light. About three months later, the school — which has about 700 students — learned that it had secured a part of the historic tree.

“We’re just a little school district that nobody knows out in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York, and we’ve got something that is really special,” Zimpfer said. “It’s a source of pride for [the students].”

As the planting ceremony began on Anne Frank’s birthday in 2013, Zimpfer thought about the enormous responsibility that came with the sapling, which was then barely more than a twig with a bundle of roots the size of a softball. “This is an educational tool — not a tombstone with leaves on it,” he said. “Now, we have to follow through.”

The arrival of the sapling, nicknamed Annie, has helped transform Holocaust education at Southern Cayuga Central from a blip in a sprawling social studies or literature class into a year-long learning process. The school has since launched a nonprofit, the Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Project, that brings in survivors from the Holocaust and other genocides, including Sudan, and arranges field trips to war memorials.

“I think everybody — especially students — when they have something physical they can see, something they can touch, it connects them to concepts that are very far away and makes it easier for them to understand,” Zimpfer said.

But the school’s concerted efforts to keep the memories and teachings of the Holocaust alive for the youngest generation is far from the norm. Educators across the country are grappling with how to make the lessons of the Holocaust relevant to children at a time when it is vanishing from the collective memory. Sixty-six percent of millennials could not identify what Auschwitz was, and 22 percent had not heard of or were unfamiliar with the Holocaust, according to a 2018 survey by Claims Conference, a group that negotiates restitution for Holocaust survivors. Additionally, 68 percent of millennials wrongly think Hitler came to power by force.

These gaps in awareness are underscored by an alarming uptick in schoolyard anti-Semitism. The number of hate incidents directed at Jews quadrupled in K-12 schools from 2015 to 2017, a study by the Anti-Defamation League shows, jumping from 114 to 457 reported incidents. School grounds surpassed other public spaces, such as parks and streets, to have the highest number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2017. And it’s all going viral on social media: a photo posted to Twitter and Snapchat earlier this year showed a Nazi-themed party where California high schoolers played a drinking game with red cups arranged in the shape of a swastika while laughing and doing a Sieg Heil salute.

“The internet helps amplify these ideas that spread hatred and violence,” Elisa Rapaport, Chief Operating Officer of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, told FRONTLINE. “Interactions are no longer limited to a small community. With opportunities to connect, we have also witnessed a rapidly-spreading virus of hostility.”

The rise of anti-Semitism in K-12 schools is “impossible to ignore at this point,” according to Peter Nelson, director of Holocaust education at the ADL. Nelson provides education support to schools, sometimes in the wake of an incident. “It’s not clear that these [students] are neo-Nazis necessarily,” he said. “It may not even be directed at Jews in particular. But it is woefully ignorant.”

Educators like Zimpfer believe Holocaust awareness can serve as a line of defense against anti-Semitism, and the American public strongly supports Holocaust education in schools: according to the Claims Conference survey, 93 percent believe that students should learn about the Holocaust in school, and 80 percent think it is important to learn about the Holocaust so something like it does not happen again. Yet only 10 states require schools to teach students about the Holocaust.

The recent surge of anti-Semitism has reignited legislative efforts to expand Holocaust education. In January, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced a bipartisan bill that would establish a federal fund at the Department of Education for schools to develop and improve the quality of their teachings on the Holocaust. The proposed legislation, titled the Never Again Education Act, would prioritize schools that do not already cover the Holocaust. The bill has 99 co-sponsors.

There are also a number of additional states that are working to require Holocaust education in their schools, including Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina.

Still, not all states believe that Holocaust education should be required, highlighting the prickly politics behind public school curriculums. Some — including Colorado, Tennessee and Vermont — have pushed back because they did not want to support a bill that singles out the Holocaust, had concerns around extra costs to schools, or had competing legislative priorities.

Some educators fear that mandating a topic will result in an overloaded curriculum. “In your global history course, you have just covered everything from the Reconstruction to the Iraq War in nine months or something crazy,” Elizabeth Edelstein, vice president of education at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage said. “So, you have much less time per topic.”

Research has shown that mandating Holocaust education to teachers, who don’t always have the proper guidance on how best to approach the complex topic, can backfire. A study by the University of College London found that even though British students overwhelmingly were familiar with the Holocaust, most had a flawed understanding of it.

In New York, teachers have increasingly reached out to the Museum of Jewish Heritage for guidance on how to best teach the Holocaust, requests that tend to come on the heels of an anti-Semitic school incident. “One question we hear frequently is, ‘We don’t know how to start,’” Edelstein said.

The museum — in partnership with the NYC Department of Education — recently launched a free education portal for teachers in an attempt to promote best classroom practices. This includes relying on primary sources such as survivor testimony or artifacts, a change from outmoded textbooks that tend to highlight the chronology of Nazis at the expense of the Jewish experience.

“Kids perceive Jews, if they know anything about the Holocaust, as victims,” she said. “Of course they were victims of the Holocaust. But they were also active agents in their own fates to the utmost possibility that they could be.”

Although it’s become much less prevalent in the past 20 years, some schools still rely on dubious Holocaust education practices. Some teachers divide classrooms into two groups — Nazis and Jews — based on the color of their shirts and have them simulate scenarios such as a deportation. Others show graphic photos from concentration camps to the class with no context. “[The teachers’] intent is to show them the horrific outcome of when hatred is unchecked,” Edelstein said. “But when students are shocked, they shut down. They are not open to learning.”

Teaching the Holocaust just to tick a box is not enough, educators say. “That is not using the Holocaust to give us the lessons we need to be good citizens in a democracy — to not be complacent and take our responsibilities seriously,” Nelson said.

Back in Cayuga County, Annie the sapling was deliberately placed right next to the playground, so that the youngest children would always see it. “Every kid, grade K-12, can tell you about Anne Frank, can tell you about the sapling, can tell you about the Holocaust,” Zimpfer said. “It’s incredible what having this tree has done to draw attention to and enlighten everybody on the campus and in the community about the Holocaust.”

Cayuga County’s small part of the Anne Frank tree has sparked not only a comprehensive education about a horrific moment in our history, but a pathway to apply the lessons to the future.

“When you have a deeper knowledge of a subject and not just a passing knowledge,” Zimpfer said, “it gives you a deeper understanding of it, and then I think you connect it to your own life. I think you connect it to other events that are similar to it in some way.”

Southern Cayuga Conversations: Signs of the Times

During a conversation with children in the Southern Cayuga Summer Camp program, I asked them about their favorite signs. A 9-year-old boy began to giggle. I asked about his sign. Still suppressing a laugh, he replied, “The one that says ‘Drive Like Your Kids Live Here.’” I was surprised, and asked him to tell me more. He explained: “One of those signs is near my house. I watch cars and trucks come driving down the road at top speed. You can see some of the drivers on their cellphones. When they see the sign, they slow down and pay lots of attention to the road. They carefully look right and left. But as soon as they pass the house with the sign, they speed up with cellphones in their faces.” He saw my astonished expression and continued: “If those drivers really cared about kids they would know that every house and every road has children. They need to drive safely all the time. The sign is funny because those drivers just don’t get it.” I had not been able to get the conversation out of my mind, nor the uncanny wisdom of this young boy.

When I drove up to the Southern Cayuga Central School on the first day in November, I observed the school flag flying at half-mast. I thought of the weekend of violence with the shooting rampage in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the bombs being delivered in the mail, and additional shootings in a supermarket and a school. How many times in the past year had the flag flown at half-mast? This was a sign of our times — a sign that brought both despair and horror. Then another sign appeared and reminded me that I was at the home of one of 11 Anne Frank trees in the U.S. As I entered the high school, I saw a new sign hanging in the lobby: “We are the proud home of the Anne Frank tree — a living reminder of the impact each human being can have on our global community.” I stood before Anne Frank and read her words written in July of 1944: “It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet, I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

I needed to talk to students to see what they thought of Anne’s hope and idealism. Thinking of the wisdom of the young man who understood the irony of “Drive Like Your Child Lived Here,” I was sure students could help me understand more about these two signs — one of hatred and one of hope. Bill Zimpfer asked his ninth-grade students if they agreed with Anne’s statement that people were truly good at heart. I received 25 responses to this question. As I read and re-read the words of our students who are the same age as Anne, I realized they speak for themselves. Their thoughtfulness, eloquence and insights are optimistic signs of our times:

“I feel like some people can be truly evil because of how they are being raised, or not having parents in their life to guide them in the right way, or not feeling like anybody loves you.”

“I agree because if someone does something wrong, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. They just made a mistake they have got to live with.”

“I would like to believe this quote is true and everyone, even the worst person in the world has little bit of compassion and love deep down in their heart. … But there is a small minority population that has absolutely no compassion. … But these people are greatly outnumbered by the good, and we will fight back.”

“A person’s heart is different from a belief in many ways. Your heart includes both feelings and thoughts. Anne’s quote is quite motivating, and very appealing to the heart.”

“Some people believe they are doing good in this world, but at the same time they are destroying it … killing off an entire species so they could make a little money … building cars that provide transportation and also destroy the ozone level that protects us.”

“When people are scared, they become savage animals and the wheels of violence and death just keep spinning.”

“I think people have a choice to be cold at heart, or good at heart. I think most people try to do the right thing. But there are people in the world that try to hurt others, and are a threat to society.”

“We all have room in our hearts to put a little good into it.”

Elaine Meyers, of King Ferry, is a member of the boards of the King Ferry Food Pantry and ABC Cayuga, as well as Anne Frank Tree Project and Southern Cayuga Garden Club. She coordinates a literacy support program at Southern Cayuga Central School.

Cayuga Fund Distributes More Than $70,000 in Grants

We are proud to announce that the Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Project is the recipient of a Cayuga Community Fund Grant!

Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Project received $500 to add signage near the tree site to draw attention to the new surveillance system and deter vandalism.

This is the third grant we have received for the Cayuga Community Fund.  Previous grants have been used to purchase and distribute books relative to our mission, and to purchase road signage directing the way to the Anne Frank Tree.

The new grant will allow us to erect signage near the tree site alerting visitors of the surveillance which we feel will be very instrumental in keeping the tree safe from harm.  We are thankful for the continued support from the Cayuga Community Fund!

Visit the Central New York Community Fund Blog