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(L-R) Barry Witten, WIU curriculum and instruction; Jean Lewis, U.S. History Porject Director; Larry Balsamo, WIU history chair; and Robert Baumann, Hancock/McDonough County Regional Superintendent
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WIU Partners with Regional Offices of Education for Teaching American History Grant

November 9, 2005

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MACOMB, IL - - History teachers throughout schools in six west-central Illinois Regional Offices of Education (ROE) will have the opportunity over the next three years to add to their knowledge and teaching base with on-site learning travel experiences, thanks to a federally-funded grant and expert guidance by Western Illinois University faculty.

Hancock/McDonough County Regional Superintendent of School (ROE 26) Robert Baumann recently announced receiving a three-year $581,019 grant titled, “Exploring America: Teachers Bringing Traditional American History to Students,” for the following ROE offices, located in 14 counties: Hancock/McDonough, Adams/Pike, Fulton/Schuyler, Henderson/Mercer, Brown/Cass/Morgan/Scott, Knox and Rock Island.

Providing leadership for the grant will be Western Illinois University history Chair and Professor Larry Balsamo and curriculum and instruction Associate Professor Barry Witten. Western, Balsamo and the same ROEs recently completed a successful four-year grant serving U.S. history teachers throught workshops and summer institutes.

The Exploring America grant will provide 28 high school U.S. history teachers across the six ROEs the study-travel experience annually. Selected teachers will complete a preparatory workshop taught by Western Illinois history faculty before their carefully planned study tours, which will be overseen by Balsamo. Teachers will have completed common readings before the travel experience. They will keep a daily log and will be responsible for developing and delivering content lessons based on their knowledge gained during the summer travel experience, which will be overseen by Witten.

The Summer 2006 tour will follow themes of the American Revolution and the Civil War with a trip to the historic East Coast. The Summer 2007 travel experience will venture to San Francisco, the first center for Asian American history, one of the birthplaces of the turbulent 1960s and a major part of the modern Native American movement. The 2008 travel experience will be to New York, where the nation’s immigrants entered the U.S.; including Harlem, the modern home of African American culture.

For more information about the grant, contact Jean Lewis, ROE 26, U.S. History Project Director, 309/837-4821.

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