SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Eighth-grade students from around Siouxland gathered at the Orpheum Theater, to watch a play of ‘The Diary Of Anne Frank’ for this year’s Tolerance Week.

Tolerance Week was started in 2005 after Jerry and Kathy Weiner saw the film Paper Clips. The story is about a group of Tennessee teachers searching for an effective way to teach students about the scale of the holocaust.

“We all need to be aware of our prejudices, and stereotypes, and these kids need to learn what happened not so very many years ago,” said Lou Ann Lindblade, a member of the board of directors of Tolerance Week.

“Tolerance is not a noun, it’s an adverb, it’s an action word, means you have to reach out and take care of people and care about people, because we don’t have to look very far to realize what’s happening around the world. Ukraine is a perfect example of intolerance, Nazi Germany was a state-sponsored intolerance,” said Jerry Weiner, a founder of Tolerance Week.

Tolerance Week has taught hundreds of thousands of students over the years to stand up for what’s wrong and how to make a difference in the world.

“It’s not gonna change the world at once, but just a little bit. you help someone try and be their best self, you believe in integrity, principle and honor, and you not only talk about you live it, it becomes a part of your psychic being,” Weiner said.

A tradition for Tolerance Week is to bring in a holocaust survivor and tell their story about what they experienced. However, as time passes there are fewer speakers to share their stories.

Jerry Weiner, the founder of Tolerance Week recalled one of his frequent speakers, Philip Gans, making a huge impact on students.

“He asked the students ‘how many of you have been bullied? Come on tell me, how many of you have been bullied,’ and little by little the hands went up. And then ‘how many of you bullied?’ And he talked about anti-bullying and what we can do about it. And I saw, I felt not I saw, I felt an awakening something inside some of these kids like what the heck have I been doing,” said Weiner.

Weiner says soon Tolerance Week might rely on stories like The Diary Of Anne Frank. The story of a young Jewish woman who left a diary behind, depicting her family’s and friend’s time in hiding from Nazi Germany, before being taken to a concentration camp.

“Will it make the same impact as a survivor tell his or her story, no, but it does do a job,” said Weiner.

Weiner says it takes a village working together to make the best version of ourselves in whatever we do in life and that starts when we’re young.