The Jan Karski Polish School in Palos Heights, IL, is one of many Polish-American institutions in the Chicago metro area but the only one named after this extraordinary person. For the school’s management and the teaching team, Jan Karski embodies authority and a system of values that must be passed on to the next generations.
Educational materials received from the Jan Karski Educational Foundation and other Polish-American organizations help the school remember and honor Karski during the entire academic year, but especially on the so-called Patron’s Day – on June 24 – when the whole school celebrates Karski’s birthday.
Lower-grade students colored the image of Jan Karski, while the older ones created educational posters and read the graphic novel, Karski’s Mission: To Stop the Holocaust, published by the Jan Karski Educational Foundation. They also discussed the Karski legacy, his mission, and the values he represents.
“It is extremely vital for the youth today to have a role model like Jan Karski – a person who connects Poland and the United States, which is important for our students, but most of all, exemplifies the right choices even in extreme circumstances, remembers about another human being and loves their homeland,” said Marek Adamczyk, Principal of the Jan Karski Polish School in Palos Heights.
It is worth remembering that during his life, Karski used to visit the Windy City, which honors the legendary Georgetown professor with a street named after him (thanks to the initiative of Professor Bożena McLees of Loyola University) and a commemorative plaque at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, IL.
Mr. Adamczyk contributed to this story.