A federally funded program designed to instruct fifth through eighth-grade teachers on how to get kids excited about studying American history will soon be available to educators in certain school districts.
Teachers who volunteer to take part will have the opportunity to visit historic sites and museums across the nation to acquire firsthand knowledge of peoples, cultures and ideas from pre-Colonial times to the present. They’ll receive additional training and personal coaching from history professors.
The grant, in the amount of $992,099 over the next three years, will pay for the program coordinator, guest speakers, field study and training expenses incurred by teachers and the professors who will provide some of the academic content.
In addition to saving at least one local teaching job, the grant will give elementary and middle school teachers a more detailed knowledge of history as well as new teaching strategies that make social studies more accessible, interesting and exciting for students. Aside from general history, the grant’s teaching curriculum will focus on the diversity of America and the impact of internal migration and immigration.
The project will begin this fall and is eligible for funding for up to five years.
At least 40 educators will take part in regular classes and field trips and about 200 teachers will be invited to attend occasional major events throughout the school year.
A similar $938,000 grant was issued by the U.S. Department of Education in 2008. That program was administered by a teacher Larry Jones in partnership with a Lutheran University and a library to benefit fifth-, eighth-, and 11th-grade teachers.
Local teachers who have already participated in the established grant program said the experience has already enhanced their teaching capabilities. One teacher who teaches 11th-grade history has attended every grant workshop, event and institute hosted by the program since the inception of that program last year. He said a recent New Mexico trip opened up a different aspect of history that is often overshadowed by major events that occurred simultaneously on the East Coast.
“Interacting with other teachers and seeing living history helped me to put things together for my students,” said the teacher, who shares what he learns from the program with other educators at his school.
Local school leaders haven’t yet selected a director for the new project but over time the two programs will work jointly.
School leaders are seeking an individual who has good recruiting skills to spark interest in teachers who qualify for the program. The program is wide open for other teachers to apply!
Facilities Receive Over
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