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School district receives Teaching American History Grant

By Staff | Aug 4, 2010

Social studies teachers in Lee County are being given the opportunity to gain more knowledge on American history through a new federal grant.
The Lee County School District announced this week it earned a federal five-year Teaching American History Grant. Already, the school district has been given $1 million to support the first three years of the $1.6 million grant.
“It’s going to increase content area knowledge for our social studies teachers and increase their knowledge of the best instructional practices in order to increase student knowledge in the area of American history,” said Cindy McClung, coordinator for social studies.
The new program, called “E Pluribus Unum: One Nation, One People,” focuses on significant historical events, people and documents that shaped the creation of the United States. Students in fifth, eighth and 11th grade study American history in Lee County.
McClung said the district is in the process of hiring a new program director who will work with 120 social studies teachers. These teachers will have the opportunity to develop professionally with the program’s partners, including Florida Gulf Coast University, Southwest Florida Museum of History, Edison and Ford Winter Estates and the Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida.
“Traditionally, there hasn’t been a whole lot of professional development available for Social Studies teachers,” she said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for our teachers and students, and we are honored to have received it.”
Once in the program, teachers will take classes, join a research internship at FGCU, enroll in an in-service training or visit local and national historical sites to expand their content-area knowledge.