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Newtown students honored for Holocaust education projects

Eight eighth grade students from Newtown Middle School were recognized for their outstanding creative achievements in Holocaust education at an awards ceremony held at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia on June 11.

With the guidance and encouragement of their English teacher, Erinn Demskis, the students submitted their Holocaust projects to the Mordechai Anielewicz Creative Arts Competition, which is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. For this competition, students in grades seven to 12 from across the Delaware Valley were given the opportunity to reflect upon and interpret the lessons of the Holocaust through creative writing, poetry, visual art, music, dance, and multi-media.

This year, nearly 300 students participated in this competition, which is named after the young leader who led the Jewish uprising against the Nazi tyranny in the Warsaw ghetto.

Kate Thomson was awarded first prize for her three-dimensional art titled, “Remembering the Victims of the Holocaust.” Lily Cinque was awarded second prize in the same category for her piece titled, “Peace for All Who Suffered.” April Xiao and Grace Ye tied for third prize for their two-dimensional artwork titled, “The Fallen Angel” and “Reaching for Resistance” respectively. Sasha Iosava was awarded honorable mention for her two-dimensional piece, “Never Forget.”

Gianna Marini was awarded the second prize for instrumental music for her original composition for piano titled, “Through the Night,” which she performed at the ceremony. Maxwell Ondik was awarded second prize for his poetry submission, “The Crying City,” while Abigail Green was awarded honorable mention for her poem, “Family.”

At the conclusion of the program, teacher Erinn Demskis was recognized for her commitment to Holocaust education.

All of the artwork entered in the contest was also posted online at