Delta State University has received an award from the National Endowment for the “Humanities Landmarks in American History and Culture” program that will allow the DSU Delta Center for Culture and Learning to offer two week-long workshops focusing on the Delta’s rich cultural heritage in June and July, 2009.
Each workshop will serve 40 teachers, who will come from all over the United States. Dr. Luther Brown, Director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning says “We had a dozen requests for application packets on the first day that publicity went out. This will be a very exciting workshop, and we hope to have a couple of hundred applicants for the eighty available positions.”
K-12 classroom teachers in public, private, parochial, and charter schools, as well as home-schooling parents are eligible to participate. They will receive stipends and travel assistance to gather together with leading humanities scholars, innovative master teachers and DSU staff to develop powerful lesson plans relating to the Delta’s heritage and the heritage of their own home regions.
The workshops are titled “The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, Culture, and History in the Mississippi Delta.” Participants will travel throughout the Delta as they visit sites where significant events occurred. They will discuss and learn about issues involving civil rights and political leadership, immigrants’ experiences in the Delta, the Blues, the great migration, agriculture, and the Mississippi River, among other things. They will sample Delta foods, visit local museums, and listen to the Blues. Field trips will roam as far as Greenville, Greenwood, and Memphis, with stops in between.
The workshops will be held the week of June 15 and the week of July 13.
The Landmarks of American History and Culture Teacher Workshops are a major part of the NEH “We the People” program aimed at improving public understanding of significant themes and events in American history and culture. Workshops offered by NEH provide K-12 educators with the opportunity to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics and issues in American history, while providing them with "hands on" experiences to develop enhanced teaching materials for their classrooms.
The DSU Delta Center for Culture and Learning promotes the understanding of the heritage of the Mississippi Delta. The Center will be assisted during the workshops by several DSU faculty members and master teachers from the College of Education, together with faculty from the University of Memphis and the University of Mississippi. Local Delta citizens will also tell their own stories and experiences.
There are a total of 20 “Landmarks in American History and Culture” workshops during 2009. Their topics range from The American Skyscraper, to America’s Industrial Revolution and Henry Ford, to Ellis Island, Public Health and the American Workforce, with several workshops focusing on the American Revolution or the Civil War. A complete list can be found at http://www.neh.gov/projects/landmarks-school.html. This is the first time that Delta State has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For more information about the Landmarks in American History and Culture workshops, contact the DSU Delta Center for Culture and Learning at (662) 846-4311.