The Daffodil Project at THS

Norah Bell, Contributing Writer

WHO is involved?

The Daffodil Project website:

Their one-page info statement:  Daffodil Project Info Sheet

Yona Carmona (she was Yona McGraw before getting married) worked with Mr. Rodda to bring this project to Teaneck High School.

When asked why she had gotten involved with the Daffodil Project, Ms. Carmona said, “Both of my maternal grandparents survived the Holocaust. My grandfather, Abraham Szedlecki, was a survivor of the Lodz ghetto and was among the first groups deported to Auschwitz where his pregnant wife was never heard from again, and where he remained until liberation. He saw the Nazis were distracted by the impending liberation and sealed out with a friend. They wore Nazi uniforms they had stolen until they found safety. My grandmother, Ann Szedlecki, was a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto. She escaped to Siberia and ultimately found freedom in Israel and, after the war, Canada.” Ms. Carmona’s grandmother wrote a book about her experiences entitled, Album of My Life (published by the Azreil Foundation).

“I was motivated to get THS involved with the project because Teaneck is such an important and intersectional space. It boasts such a diverse community, where all people can present themselves exactly as they are, with their unbelievable stories and be at home. Every culture represented in Teaneck has the opportunity to stand out and be accepted by one another, so Teaneck High School was the perfect place to start incorporating the project around town–giving teens the opportunity to see firsthand that in the age of revisionist history we aren’t afraid to tell the truth. We won’t let history be forgotten.” 

WHAT happened?

The Daffodil Project objectives are in the links above

WHEN did the events take place?

  • At the start of the school year, September 2022, Ms. Carmona reached out to Mr. Rodda to ask him if he would help with this project.
  • September 2022 Principal Valdes said the THS would be happy to help and Mr. Rodda became the point person
  • By October 5 the bulbs had arrived. They were delivered to Mr. Roda’s classroom on a hand truck and stayed in the closet there until planting
  • October 28 the planting event


Teaneck High School field. Under the scoreboard on the corner of Queen Anne Rd and Cranford Avenue


See the website and links above

Yona Carmona’s involvement in this project is both personal and professional.

HOW: How did it happen? 

Yona Carmona’s grandparents survived the Holocaust and the cause is very personal for her. She joined the Daffodil Project and thought how proud she would be if her old school were to join in. 

She knew Mr. Rodda had taught a unit on the Holocaust and thought he might be interested in the project too. 

She wrote to Mr. Rodda to share information about the project and he agreed it would be great for THS.