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Sudbury students get a unique human rights education

Tour for Humanity makes a stop in the Nickel City

Students at MacLeod Public School climbed on to a bus on Tuesday, but not one that would take them to or from school.

Instead, the bus took them on an educational journey intended to teach them to make real world connections to historical events related to human rights.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies' Tour for Humanity made a stop in Sudbury this week and will be visiting five different schools and edcating students between grades three to high school.

MacLeod Public School students were given a 50 minute presentation inside of the bus, which on the interior more closely resembles a small movie theatre. The bus is outfitted with theatre seating and large projection screens, where education associate Elena Kingsbury takes the students through some historic Canadian events, tying them to situations they may encounter today.

"Today's presentation is called 'The Canadian Experience', so the kids will learn about things like residential schools, Japanese internment camps during the second World War, and slavery in Canada," said Kingsbury.

"Current issues we look at are cyber bullying, and examples of modern-day intolerance."

The Tour for Humanity travels the province throughout the school year and makes stops at summer camps when school's out. 

"It's a very busy schedule, we're in different cities all the time, trying to educate as many students as possible on human rights and equality," said Kingsbury. 

The tour has been going for about four years now and thousands of students have been through the doors of the bus that seats up to 30 children at a time, and up to 180 students daily. 

While the MacLeod school students were treated to the Canadian Experience presentation, the tour offers two more workshops that are tailored according to age.

For the older students (grades 9-12), they learn about human rights on a more global scale, with a focus on the holocaust and genocide. Younger students between grades three to six are given the chance to learn about stereotypes, racism, and prejudice and how to become proactive in influencing positive change.

The tour made a stop at Marymount Academy on Monday, April 30, and Larchwood Public School on May 2. There are two more stops on the top after Wednesday that have not yet been announced.

For more on the Friends of Simon Wiesenthanthal Center for Holocaust Studies, check out or email [email protected].