The Niswonger Foundation has awarded a mini-grant to support the National History Day program efforts of Tusculum College’s Department of Museum Program and Studies and the Andrew Johnson Heritage Association.
The grant will be used to assist with the placement of a National History Day resource coordinator in Greene County and regional schools to work with students and teachers as well as furnish program materials.
“We are pleased to be able to assist the Museums of Tusculum College and the Andrew Johnson Heritage Association with providing this national curriculum-based program in our schools,” said Linda Irwin, director of school partnerships for the Foundation.
The National History Day program was founded more than 30 years ago. The program was started in Greene County eight years ago and has grown steadily with many students progressing to the district, state and national competitions. To date more than 3,000 students in Greene County have participated in the program. Mosheim Middle School, which has participated in the program the longest, has experienced improved achievement test scores since it was implemented.
Students prepare exhibits, documentaries, papers and plays related to a national theme as part of the National History Day program. As they complete their projects, students learn important skills such as conducting research, identifying primary and secondary materials, engaging in critical thinking skills and preparing their work for presentation and judging.
Last year, a mini-grant from the Niswonger Foundation helped provide funds for the creation of the resource coordinator position. Darlene McCleish, who served as the resource coordinator, worked with 600 students in local schools over the course of the 2009-10 academic year. McCleish also met with teachers in almost all the schools in Greeneville and Greene County about National History Day, and there are other schools interested in participating in the annual event during the upcoming academic year. In addition, she was involved in workshops in Carter and Hawkins counties sharing information about the program.
With the exception of the mini-grant from the Niswonger Foundation, the program is totally supported through the membership and fund-raising efforts of the Andrew Johnson Heritage Association.
For more information on the program and the Association, contact George Collins, museum program advisor with the Department of Museum Program and Studies at Tusculum by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 423-525-0240.