More than 150 local high school students attended the Anne Frank Project, AFP, Youth Conference at SUNY Buffalo State Tuesday. This is the first year the conference has opened its doors to youth, which in the past it was only open to college students.
The seminar uses history to convey the message that simple conflicts can escalate into war. It teaches students ways to deal with bullying and intolerance through artistic outlets such as poetry, theatre, music, and dance.
Buffalo State professor and AFP Director Drew Kahn says the project uses Anne Frank’s words and wisdom to teach conflict resolution techniques.
“We want them to leave armed with a self-confidence and armed with a sense of community and armed with a sense that if and when something happens that is negative, I can do something,” said Kahn.
During the conference, students were also taught about human rights issues around the world. Terri Moye, a sophomore at Tapestry Charter School, says Anne Frank’s story taught her to be more proactive and not just a bystander in difficult situations.
“I’m hoping that the different things that we deal with in school, whether it be dealing different personalities, etc… we can handle it in a peaceful way other than arguing,” said Moye.
The AFP conference is held in conjunction with the Diary of Anne Frank exhibit on display now at the Burchfield Penny Art Center.
The schools that attended the seminar include Tapestry Charter School, Oracle Charter School, Nardin Academy, McKinley High School and the Buffalo Academy for Performing Arts.