Sep 22 2003

Spartanburg, Sumter and York Counties Benefit from Grants to Improve Teaching in American History

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Spartanburg County School District 1, Sumter County School District 2 and the Winthrop Olde English Consortium will receive grants to improve teaching programs in American History. Spartanburg County School District 1 will receive $287,916. The funds will be used to implement a professional development program in American History for all history teachers in grades 3-12, with additional participation in some activities by teachers in other districts. The project will offer three American History courses for graduate credit, one technology-based course, two ten-day and three three-day institutes, observations of exemplary history teachers, consultations with master scholars, site visits, and other professional development activities. The District’s partners in this project will be the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg’s History and Education Departments and the Spartanburg County Historical Association. Sumter County School District 2 will receive $719,784. The funds will be used to train teachers during two-week summer sessions, create mentoring relationships during the school year, and develop sustainable methods to carry on student learning. The summer institutes develop content knowledge and instruction in American history, which is taught in grades 3, 8 and 11. Of the 25 teachers who participate each summer, 5 serve as mentors for other teachers. Each summer the institute focuses on different period and person-centered themes. The District will partner with the Sumter County Museum in this project. York County The Winthrop Olde English Consortium will receive $478,502. The funds will be used for teachers of grades 4, 5, 8 and 11 to attend a summer institute each year. The first year, the institute will focus on American beginnings to 1877; the second year, 1877 to the present; and the third year, “vertical articulation from beginnings to present,” a thematic study of American history. Follow-up sessions will be held at local historic sites including Historic Brattonsville, Andrew Jackson State Park, Catawba Indian Nation, Cornwallis House, and Mount Dearborn Military Establishment. The Consortium will partner with Winthrop University, the University of South Carolina, local county libraries, and local historic commission in this project. “These are innovative programs that will allow American history teachers to continue their education and hone teaching skills,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “Professional development for South Carolina’s teachers provides a better education for our students.” ####