“It was an absolute pleasure getting to experience Heidi sharing her mother’s experience, through engaging stories and interesting and personal artifacts, with our students. She not only kept the attention of 75 7th and 8th graders (along with about a dozen teachers and other staff), she left a mark on them. After she left, and long before it could be officially added to the school library, kids were asking to read Tutti’s Promise. The following day, when the kids came back, they had follow-up questions, not only about Heidi’s presentation and Tutti’s experiences, but about the Holocaust, World War 2, and other forms of genocide in world history. It truly sparked an interest for so many of our kids.”
-Matthew Allen (teacher – St. Albans City School)
Mrs. Fishman’s presentation was engaging and informative! The students were captivated by her mother’s story of survival and the pictures she shared. Afterwards, we were lucky to have her work with a small group of students in a writing workshop; the students were so excited to have the opportunity to work with a published author! She was able to give our students a personal connection to what we had been learning about in class.
-Jaime Shea (teacher – Ellington Middle School)
It was fascinating to see how the daughter of a Holocaust survivor cared so deeply to write a book about how her mother had faith and courage to tell her story.
I learned a lot from Heidi. She gave me new techniques to improve my writing.
I thought it was very cool that you still had all those pictures of your family.
I thought that having you here gave me and all of us an amazing experience to hear what your mother went through.
I found it very interesting to learn the process of how she wrote the book and I think it will help me with my future writing experiences.
“This was an amazing opportunity for students to connect literature and history in a rich, meaningful way. Heidi and her mother gave a stirring, emotionally engaging presentation, and our students were riveted!” Amy Ma, Upper School English, Renbrook School
“Heidi’s presentation to our Upper School (Grades 7-9) was terrific. She engaged the students with her story, and she shared details that made it come alive to them. The subject matter is not easy, but its importance is clear, and Heidi delivered a valuable lesson through the lens of her family’s experience. We wish we had more time with her.”
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit Renbrook yesterday. The experience was powerful for the students and adults alike. Knowing our history and our stories is so critically important. At Renbrook we often speak about ‘bringing learning to life.’ Thank you for creating an authentic experience for our students that they will not soon forget. Please thank your mother too. It was so special to see her here.”
Marek Beck, PhD, Head of Upper School, Renbrook School
“Mrs. Fishman’s presentation provided our students with a valuable example of the use of primary and secondary sources in research. It was fascinating to follow her path, from an interview with her mom and the use of simple documents stating names, ages and addresses she found in her online research, to an interview with one of the children living in the building in which her mother and her family hid from the Nazis. Mrs. Fishman created a narrative of her own process using visuals, including documents she found, pictures of her mother as a young girl, and photos of the building and surroundings in Amsterdam where her mother’s family hid. As an educator I was thrilled to have an author reveal the writing process to our students as an authentic task. What better way to show this than to have an author present her work of historical fiction about her own mother surviving the Holocaust! “
Matt Hopkins – grade 7 Language Arts Teacher, Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School
“Excellent presentation that demonstrated how to conduct a historical investigation using primary and secondary sources. Detailed a step-by-step process of research. Showed that hard work paid off with a novel she is obviously proud of!”
“Ms. Fishman did a wonderful job of explaining to our eighth grade students how she was able to take her mother’s true story of survival during the Holocaust and turn it into a novel. I especially enjoyed her explanation of the research process she used to find additional details of her mother’s childhood. I would highly recommend Ms. Fishman’s presentation to any middle school classroom!”
Danielle Michaud – 8th grade Language Arts teacher – Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School
“Heidi Fishman was a pleasure to have at our school and really grabbed each student’s attention. I loved how she explained the process of how she made the book and all of the research she had done. She inspired me and I believe she’ll do the same to others.”
8th grade student – Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School