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Neal announces $999,991 federal grant for Springfield Public Schools

June 8, 2006
Press Release

Funds to be used to teach American history

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Richard E. Neal today announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Springfield Public Schools (SPS)-Office of the Superintendent-a grant in the amount of $999,991 to teach American history. It is anticipated that the federal assistance will be for a total of three years.

"With federal dollars being so competitive, I am very pleased that the Springfield Public Schools were able to secure this sizable grant," said Congressman Neal. "This successful and exciting program has been enormously beneficial to students and teachers. By partnering with the Five Colleges, local teachers have become deeply engaged in the study of American history. And that expertise has carried over into the classroom. Today's announcement is good news for the Springfield Public Schools."

"Our new TAH grant, "Creating, Challenging, and Sustaining Democracy" is a wonderful opportunity to further enhance the teaching of American history for both students and teachers. I have observed first-hand the excitement of teachers who have been involved in our two other TAH grant projects.

We are very fortunate that all three of the TAH programs have been done in partnership with the Five College Public School  Partnership of the Five College consortium in Amherst and local museums including the Quadrangle Museums, Historic Deerfield, Wistariahurst, and the Springfield Armory. The Teaches Curriculum Institute has provided special curriculum training throughout the projects with its History Alive series.

This new grant will further our long term district plans of helping teachers to enrich their content and ultimately to enable their students to become better historians," said Dr. Joseph P. Burke, Superintendent of Schools.

Teaching American History (TAH) grants support projects to raise student achievement by improving teachers knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of traditional American history. Grant awards assist local educational agencies (LEAs), in partnership with entities that have extensive content expertise, to develop, document, evaluate, and disseminate innovative, cohesive models of professional development.

By helping teachers to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of traditional American history as a separate subject within the core curriculum, these programs improve instruction and raise student achievement. 

The Teaching American History project will be implemented in partnership with history faculty at the member institutions of the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and the University of Massachusetts). The project will provide over 350 hours of intensive professional development in history content and pedagogy to a new group of 40 teachers from SPS through annual two week summer institutes, field study, academic-year history academies (book clubs, special topics, and technology and media), and an annual Teaching History Forum.