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Parkway awarded $735,017 history grant

Teachers will make history come alive for students through a $735,017 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, funded under the Teaching American History Grants Program.  The grant will be split by the Parkway, Rockwood, Valley Park and Union School Districts.
The goal of the grant is for 5th grade, 8th grade, and high school American history teachers to develop a deeper knowledge of the Charters of Freedom -- Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and Bill of Rights -- and how these documents influenced and were influenced by American presidents throughout pivotal periods in American history. The teaching of traditional American history is an essential component to ensure the success of our democracy.
The school districts believe student achievement in traditional American history is directly connected to the content knowledge of their teachers, and in turn, directly impacts the teachers’ ability to teach effectively. The consortium of districts’ believes an articulated American history curriculum based on shared knowledge and best practices will contribute to the engagement and achievement of students in American history.
The school districts are partnering with the Center for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, the Organization of American Historians, and historians from Washington University, St. Louis University, and Webster University offering a four year professional development opportunities.
The expected outcome for the project is teachers with deep American history content knowledge and instructional strategies to transfer the knowledge to their students. In addition, benefits of the grant will be sustained by: preparing teacher content and instructional strategy leaders in each school participating in the grant; creating a lesson plan database, and building on-going partnerships among the districts and providers participating in Charters of Freedom.
The teachers will learn effective instructional practices to engage students in historical thinking in the classroom. Approximately 45 elementary teachers, 35 high school teachers, and 30 middle school teachers will participate in grant related professional development each year.