A Glen Cove-based anti-bullying program for students is set to expand after receiving a grant that will help more schools create an environment free from discrimination, intimidation and harassment.
The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County received a $25,000 donation Wednesday from the philanthropy arm of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. The funding will bolster “Upstanders for Tomorrow,” one of several tolerance programs the center has provided to nearly 130,000 students over the past six years.
“These funds will also give us the opportunity to create take-away resources to reinforce bullying prevention for students and educators,” said Howard Maier, chairman of the nonprofit group that runs the center.
Maier said 32 percent of Long Island middle and high school students experience recurring bullying. He said demand for the center’s anti-bullying program is up 15 percent since last year.
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“The students were inspired by the upstanders and likewise sympathetic to the innocent victims of the various genocides in world history,” said Michael Krieger, a teacher at Bay Shore Middle School who brought his students to the center for a workshop. “This was a lesson that both the teens and teachers will carry with them.”
The center is home to a museum that chronicles the Holocaust through multimedia displays, artifacts, archival footage and testimony from local survivors. It also includes a library, memorial for the victims and exhibits on other genocides.
The center located on the Welwyn Preserve, an estate that was donated by late oil industrialist Harold I. Pratt. It aims to make sure the lessons are not lost with the passage of time since millions of Jews and others were exterminated by Nazi Germans during World War II.
“What allows our program to break through is that the Holocaust is so unlike anything else in history,” Maier said. “We take the past and make it relevant to today. Our goal is to teach younger people to stand up to bullying and intolerance.”