Civil War Trust
For Immediate Release: 07/13/06

Pohanka Family Foundation to Sponsor Attendance at Annual Teacher Institute

Grant will allow additional educators to attend event promoting quality history education

(Washington, D.C.) - Thanks to a generous contribution by the John J. Pohanka Family Foundation, the annual Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) Teacher Institute will be even more accessible to educators than in previous years. With the creation of the Brian C. Pohanka Scholarship, teachers who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to attend the three-day event will discover fresh ideas for teaching the values of history and preservation to their students.

Traditionally, the Institute is free of charge to individual teachers, with school districts footing the bill from their professional development budgets. However, travel costs and other budgetary restrictions do sometimes prevent educators from attending. The Brian C. Pohanka Scholarship will enable teachers who find themselves in such a situation to attend the gathering and potentially earn continuing education credits.

Entering into its fifth year, the CWPT Teacher Institute is the country's premiere event for educators interested in enhancing their own knowledge of the Civil War era and learning inventive ways to make history come alive for their students. The Institute is co-sponsored by the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech and led by some of the country's foremost historians, including James I. "Bud" Robertson and William C. "Jack" Davis. This year's Institute will be held in Richmond, Va., and includes seminars as well as site visits to Petersburg National Battlefield or Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier.

"We at CWPT are committed to providing quality educational resources for the next generation of history lovers," said CWPT President James Lighthizer. "These teachers are the ones responsible for instilling respect for the battlefields that CWPT is working so hard to save from development."

The gift is particularly meaningful as it commemorates the legacy of one of the battlefield preservation movement's guiding lights, eminent historian and author Brian C. Pohanka. Pohanka was one of the founders of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, CWPT's predecessor organization. Until his death in June 2005, Brian Pohanka worked tirelessly to protect America's hallowed Civil War battlegrounds. His wife, Cricket Bauer Pohanka, is a member of CWPT's Board of Trustees.

"Brian's interest in the Civil War began when he was a young child," Cricket Pohanka said. "I can think of no better way to honor his memory than by giving teachers the tools to foster the love of history in the next generation."

In addition to the annual Teacher Institute, CWPT offers a wide variety of educational programs, including specially designed curricula for in depth study of Civil War history at the fifth, eighth and eleventh grade levels. These well-rounded units cover aspects of political, social and military history, as well as preservation and how best to utilize preserved battlefields as "outdoor classrooms." CWPT also sponsors an interactive "traveling trunk" program that includes a variety of hands-on items that help students feel more connected to the era as they study. Additionally, CWPT annually awards one active classroom with the A. Wilson Greene Scholarship, a stipend to help fund a field trip to Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War.

With 70,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our country's remaining Civil War battlefields. Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 22,000 acres of hallowed ground nationwide. CWPT's website is located at


  • Jim Campi or Mary Koik (CWPT)
    (202) 367-1861


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