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Parkway Awarded 'History Matters!' Grant

Teachers in the Parkway, Rockwood, Valley Park and Union School Districts will make history come alive for students through a $971,952 grant from the U.S. Department of EducationThe funding is provided through the Teaching American History grant program, which is designed to improve student achievement by enhancing teachers’ knowledge of traditional American history.  This grant is unique in that is focuses on elementary school history instruction.
Grants fund projects for up to five years, and school districts must partner with organizations that have extensive knowledge of American history, including libraries, museums, nonprofit history or humanities organizations and higher education institutions.
For this grant, local educators will partner with the Smithsonian Institute, Ellis Island, Fort McKinley, Mt. Vernon, National Museum of Art, Lincoln Library, National Center for History in the Schools, UMSL and Webster University. 
“The Teaching American History program helps teachers learn from national history experts about America’s history, culture and democratic tradition,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. “By providing professional development for teachers, we can help them support young people in becoming active, informed citizens.”
Liz Morrison, Parkway’s social studies curriculum coordinator, said, “This ‘History Matters!’ grant will provide outstanding professional development opportunities for our K-4 teachers which will enable them to provide incredible learning opportunities for students.”
History is one of the core subjects under the No Child Left Behind Act. Recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows some overall improvement in history performance. However, less than one-quarter of America’s students in grades 4, 8, and 12 are performing at the proficient level in American history.
A total of $114.7 million for 121 new grants to improve the quality of American history education was awarded to school districts in 40 states nationwide.