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County schools get nearly $1M for history education

MONTICELLO – The Lawrence County School District has received anearly $1 million grant to advance students’ knowledge of Americanhistory by further educating their teachers.

The Teaching American History Grant, issued by the U.S.Department of Education, will be shared with partner SimpsonCounty, grant coordinator Ronnie Morgan said. Other grant partnersinclude William Carey College, Copiah-Lincoln Community College,the Lawrence County Historical Society, and the MississippiDepartment of Archives and History.

“It’s primarily a staff development grant,” Morgan said. “Itfocuses on trying to increase the content knowledge of teachers andthe application measures they may use in the classroom.”

Teachers will receive more education in American history andalso learn more efficient ways to teach their students, based onhow each individual student learns best, he said.

Approximately 185 social studies teachers in Lawrence andSimpson counties’ school districts will benefit from the grant,Morgan said.

The grant will pay for one five-day workshop in the summer andfour one-day workshops held throughout the year, he said. It alsowill cover four field trips to state or national historical sites.The dates and locations of those trips still are being decided.

“I’ve only had the grant for about two weeks,” Morgan said.”We’re still working out some of the details.”

The workshops will center on teaching traditional Americanhistory as themes, with each theme a separate academic subject.Major themes include:

* Conflict, about the nation’s wars from the revolutionary tothe war in Iraq.

* Change/expansion, which covers colonial times and the manifestdestiny.

* Captivity/human rights, which includes slavery, World War IIinternment camps and women’s suffrage

Within each theme, he said, participating teachers will explorethe significant issues of the theme, its effects on individualcitizens, how it applied to the principles of freedom anddemocracy, the nation’s struggles and achievements and the nation’ssocial, political and legal institutions and relations.

“It will be a tremendous benefit to the district, especially tothose teachers who fully participate. Anything that helps a teacherbecome a better teacher is an asset to any district,” he said.

The grant provides funding for three years of the program.