Monday, July 27, 2009

History Connected: A New Teaching American History Grant

The Reading Public Schools is pleased to announce that it is one of ten Massachusetts school districts and one out of 123 school districts across the country who have received a United States Department of Education Teaching American History grant to improve the quality of American history education.

The Reading Public Schools in partnership with the Danvers, Dracut, Haverhill, Lowell, North Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, and Wilmington Public Schools received a grant totaling $999,818 over three years for the History Connected project.As part of the new History Connected project, the Reading Public Schools will develop activities in partnership with the Department of History at Boston College, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell Graduate School of Education, the Tsongas Center for Industrial History, and Primary Source, a nonprofit history and humanities organization based in Watertown.

History Connected will draw connections across time and place to the enduring themes and issues of U.S. history. Global connections between the United States and the world are an important feature of the program. So too are connections between ideas, individuals, documents and events as they developed on the local, national, and international levels. Over the course of three years, program participants will explore the connections that have shaped American history through three themes:
Year One: Equality, Citizenship, and the Law
Year Two: War and Society: The Civil War to Vietnam
Year Three: American Encounters: Movements of People and Ideas

The goal of this program is to demonstrate how school districts and institutions with expertise in American history can collaborate over a three-year period to ensure that teachers develop the knowledge and skills necessary to teach American history in an exciting and engaging way. “This project will greatly assist teachers in providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to acquire a deep understanding of the history of United States so that they may develop a strong sense of civic and community awareness and involvement” said Patrick A. Schettini, Jr., J.D., Superintendent of the Reading Public Schools.

School day seminars, history book discussion study groups, historic site visits, and summer institutes will be offered over the course of the project.

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