A school project featuring the story of a Polish woman who saved
thousands of children during the Holocaust has earned the woman a Nobel
Peace Prize nomination.
In 1999, a teacher at Uniontown High School suggested that four students
research the facts behind the life of Irena Sendler, who is credited
with saving 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto in 1942-43.
Now, teacher Norm Conard and others are working with the president of
Poland and the prime minister of Israel on Sendler's nomination for the
Nobel Peace Prize, local media reported Wednesday.
"Of course, a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize is a long way from
receiving it," Conard said. "But I was just telling someone today, the
project has gone leaps and bounds above what any of us could have
The nomination is the latest step for Conard and the students, whose
project grew to include a short play called "Life in a Jar," that
depicted Sendler's story. The students presented the play hundreds of
times and traveled to Poland to meet Sendler. The project was the
subject of a documentary and has garnered international recognition for
Sendler and the students.
"It has touched the hearts of so many people," Conard said. "It's a
testimony to not only Irena Sendler, and the courageous acts that she
completed, but also to a bunch of dedicated young people passionate
about making a difference in the world."
Conard said the group's next step was a foundation to help develop
projects to teach respect across the United States. He said the
foundation will also give $10,000 (€7,539) to a teacher in the U.S. and
Poland who best exemplify the spirit of Sendler.
And in February, the Milken Family Foundation plans to make a DVD of
"Life in a Jar" to distribute for educational purposes.