Jackson Center to host Young Readers Program

JAMESTOWN – The Robert H. Jackson Center will host award-winning author Karen Levine and Sophia from the Holocaust Resource Center in Buffalo during its Young Readers Program May 7-8. Now in its ninth year, the event will involve hundreds of local students, as well as educators and statewide essay contest winners and their families.

Levine’s award-winning book, “Hana’s Suitcase,” is the centerpiece of this year’s program. Reaching over three continents, the story connects Hana Brady, a young Jewish girl who was murdered at Auschwitz; a Japanese curator determined to share her story; and Hana’s brother in Canada. A tale of perseverance and hope, it combines history with a modern day detective story, and challenges young readers around issues of racism, resistance, activism and tolerance.

“Hana’s Suitcase” is the subject of a statewide book review essay contest for students in grades 5-8, co-sponsored by the Law, Youth & Citizenship Program of the New York State Bar Association. The essay contest winners will be recognized at a dinner program on May 7 at the Jackson Center featuring Sophia, a Jewish resident of Holland during World War II who will bring insight and reflection into the Nazi campaign that resulted in the deaths of nearly six million Jews.

The pasta dinner is open to the public, and students are especially encouraged to attend.

Tickets for the May 7 dinner program are $10 per person, with a limited number of advance complimentary tickets available to students courtesy of the Red Cross.

On May 8, Levine will meet with more than 400 students in two sessions at the Robert H. Jackson Center to talk about her book and to answer student’s questions. Through the Center’s distance learning capabilities, both programs will be webcast and video-conferenced live into area school districts to allow hundreds of additional students the opportunity to participate.

Sponsors for the event include the New York State Bar Association Law, Youth & Citizenship Program, Ahlstrom-Schaeffer, Cattaraugus County Bank, Chautauqua Patrons Insur-ance, Double A Vineyards, Evans Liquors, Hope’s Windows, Jamestown Matt-ress, Lake Shore Savings, Mr. & Mrs. Michael Metzger, Red Cross, Serta Mattress and Shults Management Group.

The Center is located at 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown. Tours are available from 10 a.m.4 p.m., MondayFriday and Satur-days from 10 a.m.2 p.m.

For additional information about this or other events, contact the Jackson Center at 483-6646 or visit