Teachers Celebrate America with FFT Fellowships

“Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.” –James A. Garfield, 20th president of US 1881

When given the chance to pursue summer learning opportunities of their dreams, the majority of Fund for Teachers Fellows choose far-flung destinations, soaking in different languages and cultures. But, for many, staying stateside holds the most promise.

Dozens of Fund for Teachers Fellows are exploring American themes this summer: Colonial living, the Civil War, lives of US Presidents and patriotic landmarks. In honor of our nation’s Independence Day, meet the Fellows who will make the spirit and history of America come alive in their classrooms this fall:

  • Patricia S. (Louisiana) will participate in Colonial Williamsburg’s Teacher Institute, learning from mentor teachers, museum staff, and character interpreters, to enhance teaching skills and develop an interdisciplinary approach to creatively teaching this era in American history;
  • Lori M. (Oklahoma) will explore patriotic landmarks in Washington DC and New York City to develop a curriculum that offers an overview of our government, appreciation for our traditions, and hands-on learning opportunities related to our country’s symbols;
  • Ray K. (Chicago) will embark on a driving tour of the geographical areas that shaped the lives of Franklin, Jefferson, Revere, and Washington to increase personal knowledge of the pre-revolutionary colonial era and facilitate students’ inquiry into citizens’ responsibility to confront challenges within their communities;
  • Rebecca F. (Boston) will explore the history of immigration by conducting research at Ellis Island and the Tenement Museum on New York’s Lower East Side to help students gain an appreciation for family members who immigrated to America and to create an interdisciplinary unit that engenders awareness and pride in family histories;
  • Team Underground Railroad (Houston) will visit Underground Railroad and national landmarks in New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC to broaden knowledge of the Black American experience and more seamlessly incorporate African-American history with general social studies;
  • Michael G. (Expeditionary Learning, North Carolina) will tour Civil War landmarks in South Carolina before attending the Civil Rights Institute for educators in Little Rock, AR, to reinforce the connection between key events, people and places comprising the historical struggle for civil liberties; and
  • Lou Ann J. (Oklahoma) will research her personal connection to the Civil War on a 15-day journey through the South before attending the Civil War Trust National Teacher Institute in Charleston, SC, to learn strategies for empowering students to undertake a similar research project using research and technology.