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Civil War Trust Hosts Teacher Institute in Richmond to Encourage History Education

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K-12 educators from throughout the nation will gather in historic Richmond, Va., for free career development conference

Jim Campi, 202-367-1861 x7205
Meg Martin, 202-367-1861 x7231

July 7, 2016

(Richmond, Va.) – Nearly 200 educators will meet in Richmond July 14-17 for the Civil War Trust’s National Teacher Institute, a career development conference designed to enrich K-12 Civil War education. The Teacher Institute provides three days of workshops, instructional battlefield and museum tours, and informative guest lectures.  In the process, K-12 educators will receive the tools they need to teach the Civil War in creative and engaging ways.

“In a curriculum that is a mile long and a quarter inch deep, it is difficult to teach the Civil War in a meaningful way,” said Jim Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of America’s historic battlefields. “An environment like the Teacher Institute allows for the dynamic sharing of ideas necessary to succeed in these challenging conditions.”

The creative and engaging approach of the Teacher Institute produces positive results in America’s teachers.  Past participant Melinda Moore said of her experience at the institute: “I feel that I walked away with real information that will be useful in the classroom.” This year’s attendees are expected to reach 300,000-400,000 young people throughout their teaching careers.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn first-hand among the battlefields of Petersburg and the Seven Days Battles on the Virginia Peninsula.  Guests speakers including Kevin Levin and James “Bud” Robertson will give lectures on contemporary topics like teaching the history of Confederate iconography and whether the Civil War still matters. The Civil War Trust’s expansion into the history of the American Revolution and War of 1812 through its Campaign 1776 initiative also gives educators an opportunity to learn about areas like Yorktown and Jamestown.

In addition to instruction enrichment in time for the start of the 2016-2017 school year, attendees will earn continuing education units and certifications through Virginia Tech University, providing important career development opportunities for K-12 educators. 

Dozens of generous Civil War Trust donors and board members, including Dr. Mary Abroe, William Hupp and Tom Lauer have guaranteed the continuing success and availability of the Teacher Institute. This year’s Institute demonstrated that like no other: when a critical funding source fell through, Trust members raised more than $20,000 in less than a week to cover the remaining costs.

The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds.  Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.  To date, the Trust has preserved close to 43,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states.