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June 27, 2006 > Grant to benefit history teachers

Grant to benefit history teachers

by Dara Tom

The Alameda County Office of Education's History and Social Sciences program has been awarded $1 million dollars to help teachers in Fremont, Livermore, Newark and Emeryville receive hands-on training with professional historians to improve their U.S. history teaching skills.

"This grant is great news for teachers who are looking for ways to think outside the box and want to make U.S. history exciting for students," said Alameda County Schools Superintendent Sheila Jordan. "We are also extremely fortunate to have Avi Black coordinating the program. Avi is a veteran educator and a history curriculum expert who is respected statewide."

The program, called Words That Made America 2 (WTMA2), provides teachers with the opportunity to participate in an intensive "apprenticeship" with professional historians, spending time with academicians to learn such things as: framing historical narratives, finding good primary sources, and how to use those sources in interpreting historical events and developments.

The title of the program refers to the writings, speeches, poems and diaries of political leaders, writers, and ordinary people struggling to define the nation. Study of these sources will lie at the core of WTMA2 whose funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Education's 2006 Teaching American History program.

Teachers participating in the WTMA2 will share their learning with peers in an effort to advance their colleagues' work providing instruction to diverse student populations.

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