Service Projects in the Classroom

Dear Anne,

When I was a 6th grader I met you inside the pages of your diary. Remember how you wanted to become an author? Even though your life was cut short before your 16th birthday, your book was published by your father. In the years since, your amazing words have touched millions including mine. I promised you then that I would never have your life forgotten. Since then, I became a teacher. For the last 34 years, I’ve told your story and shared your passion with thousands of children. 

Cameron and Simon seated together on a couchThe year that I taught Cameron and Simon, something changed in me. They would run in from recess laughing and holding hands, the best of friends.  I saw that for the friendship between a white boy from Utah and a black boy from Kenya to continue,  I had to strengthen my classroom instruction about Tolerance. I remembered reading your story and I shared it with my students, teaching them about the intolerance of the Holocuast.


After Cameron and Simon left my class a group, my students continued to show a keen interest in yoru story and wanted to help “right the injustice” so many like you had received.  They wanted to figure out a way to honor all the millions of lives lost during the Holocaust. They made list after list of items we could possibly collect to honor those lives. Unfortunately, buttons, toothpicks, marbles, pennies…nothing made sense, until my daughter April cut her finger. “Mom, do you have any bandages?” 

We both looked at each other and knew instantly that this was it! Bandages come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, but most importantly, they help heal wounds. bandages collected in a fish bowl

I took the idea back to my class and they were positive that a few letters later that we would receive millions of bandages. We decided to make our collection more powerful we should write the names of children who have lost their lives due to hatred on each bandage. Of course, the first names we wrote were Anne Frank, Margot Frank, and Peter VanPels. We wanted to make you proud, so we shared our story with the world! 

You wouldn’t believe how many letters we received! Did you know that there are even schools named after you? We wrote all of the Anne Frank schools and most sent us bandages. After the first months flew by, we realized that collecting 6 million bandages was probably not achievable. My students and I felt it was more important to honor the 1.5 million children’s lives that were cut short through hatred, so we made that our goal. 

As our Bandage Project gained momentum, we developed the idea to make a Tolerance garden at our school. We created murals of you! On one wall is an amazing profile artist rendering of you! I know you would love it! We created benches made of cinder blocks and 4X8 pieces of wood. We wrote quotes from your diary on each wood piece. Each year we remove them and write more of your quotes. Everyone at our school knows who you are! 

back view of students reading on a bench made of wood and cinderblock in front of two murals about Anne FrankYears went by and bandages continued to come in. Class after class wrote names on every single bandage. Sometimes, people sent us money for me to buy boxes of bandages. For your 85th birthday, we challenged people to send us 85 boxes. Our numbers finally hit 500,000 and then rose closer to 1,000,000! 

Several people using ladders to climb up to the top of a plexiglass container and pour bandagesWe decided that your 90th birthday should be our final goal of reaching the 1.5 millionth bandage! And we met our challenge! On June 4, 2019, eight days before your big day, we made it! We were so excited! I found a local artist who designed the plexiglass for the outside of our huge bandage container. We invited the local news and all our former Tolerance Kids to the day we filled the container.  Everyone was so proud and we sang you Happy Birthday! 

The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles has a huge exhibit of your life and we were eager to display our container and books there. Unfortunately, on March 13, 2020, days before we were set to send our Bandage Project to them, the world shut down due to a new disease, Covid. Now that things are opening back up, we are hopeful that it will be heading there soon. 

class goals on the wall with how many bandages they still need next to a picture of Anne FrankThe world knows you, Anne, and the world heard about our Bandage Project. We received bandages from ALL 50 states and 23 other countries, including Austria! You achieved your dreams and I hope you are proud of us achieving our dream to honor you and the other 1.5 million children who suffered from brutal intolerance.

If you are able to snag a computer up in heaven, take a look at The Bandage Project. You will see everything that we did to make your story live on. Your Dad remarried and Eva Schloss became his stepdaughter. She’s still living and we hope that she will visit one day. We would be proud to give her a copy of our book. Anyone else wanting a copy can contact me:

You made the world proud Anne! We will never forget you!





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