The eighth-grade Lancers have been studying the Holocaust as well as the causes, effects and events leading up to it. In conjunction, they are reading the play "The Diary of Anne Frank."
"The students have done a really good job," Language Arts Teacher and Rochelle Reberger said. "The students are asking and answering their own critical thinking questions, such as how could people let this happen and could it happen again."
By examining the time period and the actions of the people in power, they are learning to think for themselves and to encourage the next generation to do the same.
"Students in universities and public schools participated in the mass burning of books," Reberger said. "The books that were burned encouraged free thinking. It is the goal of the Lancers to promote free thinking by sharing books."
The students are collecting gently used or new children's and young adult books, which will then be donated to the LEAAP (Linking Education to Adults, Adolescents and Preschoolers) Center. The book drive will continue until the end of the school year, May 28.
This is the second year the students have done this and they are hoping to get the community involved.
"The community is encouraged and welcomed to participate," she said. "We have a second location at the prosecutors office where books can be dropped off."
The Holocaust studies and the book drive have opened the eyes and hearts of the eight grade students.
"I think it is a good idea to donate the books because we can help the kids in the community learn," Taylor Simmons said.
"It's a good cause," Paige Stevenson added. "It is nice to bring in the books because you are helping the kids and I know they will enjoy them."
As a teacher, Reberger believes in the power of reading.
"I'm an English teacher, so if it encourages reading then I think it is a wonderful idea," she said.
Not only are the students enjoying helping the LEAAP Center students, but the staff at the center is excited too.
"We are grateful to these students for all their hard work," LEAAP Center Coordinator Mary Yelton said. "The books from last year's donation have been a wonderful addition to our lending library."
The books will be divided between the lending library and students to keep.
"To be able to have books in the home can make such a difference to the students," Yelton said. "The more they read the more opportunity they have to be successful."