Introducing World War II to eighth graders

Jill Secora of Fairfield, Conn., has found a unique way to introduce World War II to her eighth graders at Saxe Middle School in New Canaan. As part of her master's degree studies in American Studies at Fairfield University, she did a project on the writings of Pulitzer prize-winner Ernie Pyle, recently meeting with actor William Windom who did a one-man show on the World War II correspondent.

Windom, known for his roles as the opposing attorney to Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird," and Angela Lansbury's confidant in "Murder She Wrote," did extensive research on Pyle for his show and was able to give Secora a lot of information she hadn't found in Pyle's writings.

She admits she chose the topic because she felt she didn't know enough about World War II herself. What intrigued her about Pyle's writings, she said, was they talked about the experiences of the typical soldier in war and what his life was like on a day-to-day basis.

Secora will begin a two-week unit on World War II with her students in mid-May and plans to eventually build it into a five-week unit.

To arrange an interview, please call (203) 254-4190.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on May 13, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 225

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