A special summer program of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) makes it possible to have teachers go back in time to share history of local and national events and experiences.
Residential workshop programs as well as full summer studies funded by the NEH enable teachers and professors to study texts, visit library collections, museums, and exchange ideas with each other about teaching. The result enriches the students they teach.
NEH proclaims on its website, “Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent external reviewers.”
Damian and Debbie Ubriaco are a high school teacher and an n elementary school librarian, exploring New York state history through the NEH workshops. Damian teaches English at Saratoga Springs high School and applied for a week long workshop, “Forever Wild: The Adirondacks in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.”
“America’s relationship with the wild changed over time, from the fearful Pilgrims to essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson,” he said. “The workshop also explored the Adirondack Park itself, which is special in being a living park, where people reside and work, as well as a natural park, where the land must be protected. We have to keep finding the balance.”