FRANKFORT, Ky. (September 30, 2004) – For the third consecutive year, the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS), in partnership with the University of Kentucky, has been instrumental in obtaining nearly $1 million in funding for eastern Kentucky teachers. Letcher County Schools is the lead district among 11 other districts in nine Kentucky counties to receive a $998,073 grant over the next three years from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History (TAH) program.
In 2002 and 2003, KHS and UK collaborations with Harlan Independent Schools resulted in nearly $2 million being allotted for teachers in Harlan and seven other neighboring counties. Teachers in these counties have participated in the Teaching American History program for two years and will continue to have the opportunity to participate during the next four years.
The 2004 project, “Documenting American Democracy: A Three Year Professional Development Program for History Teachers” is available to those teaching grades 4-12 in the following school districts: Letcher County, Hazard Independent, Jackson Independent, Jenkins Independent, Breathitt, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Magoffin, Owsley, Perry, and Wolfe Counties.
“We are very pleased to partner with the Kentucky Historical Society and the University of Kentucky on this project,” notes Anna C. Craft, Superintendent of Letcher County Schools. “This grant promises to provide valuable professional development services.”
The Kentucky Historical Society and the University of Kentucky, along with other grant partners including Appalshop, the Kentucky Department of Education and Kentucky Heritage Council, provide the selected teachers with personnel, seminars, and a week-long summer institute featuring research, writing and investigation of local history. The teachers, called American Democracy Fellows, will also receive in-class support from a master teacher and a curriculum specialist. In addition, each participating teacher receives a stipend and free materials each year.
This strong collaboration among state entities provides teachers with the resources they need to apply their own local history to teaching American history. “Connecting Kentucky’s history with the national story is foundational to this project,” says Kent Whitworth, Executive Director of The Kentucky Historical Society. “This grant is a very special opportunity for us. Working with the University of Kentucky, the other project partners and the teachers of southeastern Kentucky will allow the KHS to make a real difference in the teaching of American history in our state.”
Teachers from the participating districts who have interest in participating in the project may contact Carrie Dowdy, project administrator, at the Kentucky Historical Society (502) 564-1792, ext 4402 or at Carrie.Dowdy@ky.gov. The brainchild of Senator Robert Byrd (WV), the Teaching American History program is funded by a total $300-million appropriation by Congress since 2001.
The Kentucky Historical Society, since 1836, has provided connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for the future. KHS operates the Old State Capitol, Kentucky Military History Museum and its five-year-old headquarters, the Kentucky History Center. Since 1999, the thirty-million dollar History Center has welcomed almost one million visitors. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit the Web at http://history.ky.gov or call (502) 564-1792.