In 2021, the students of Lizdeika Gymnasium in Radviliškis participated in a project that resulted in a book of historical photo-novels, “Life is Beautiful”.
After joining an integrated project of the Lithuanian language and history, the gymnasium students presented the result of their work by the end of 2021 – a book of historical photo-novels “Life is Beautiful” in an e-format.
A symbolic place was chosen to launch the work – Dawn Square, where the Jewish community of Radviliškis lived before World War II. The project was opened by V. Simelis, the then Head of the Heritage Conservation and Tourism Subdivision and the current Mayor of Radviliskis. He introduced the students to the Jewish heritage in Radviliskis and the whole of the Radviliskis district and told them about the work that had been done to preserve it and the work to be done in the future.
The participants of the project, having learned about the history of the Jews of Radviliskis and the Radviliskis region during excursions to the Jewish Radviliskis, the old Jewish cemetery, after visiting the site of the massacre in Durpynas forest, Šeduva, and its surroundings, took photographs of the surviving objects of the Jewish heritage and their fragments, and created descriptions for the photos – historical novels.
The project funds were used to organize an excursion “The Jewish Pakruojis” to the neighboring district of Pakruojis for the most active participating students; they visited the abandoned, collapsing synagogue of Rozalimas, and took part in an educational program held in the former synagogue of Pakruojis. According to the teachers who organized the project, it was a meaningful project which developed students’ cognitive, civic, communication, and creativity competencies in different aspects. The project helped the students to become more tolerant and responsible human beings.
Based on the students’ reflections and experiences, the resulting book has been presented to the Gymnasium community, and the project will be shared with other schools in the town and district. The book may be used in the Lithuanian language, history classes, and extracurricular activities.
The book is available online: https://issuu.com/kvedjola/docs/book.pptx