It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week! Yesterday and today we’re posting about local teachers who champion the humanities in general and D.C. history specifically by partnering with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
Teacher Bill Stevens, who has long brought his students to the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., this year required his juniors and seniors at the SEED School of Washington, D.C. to participate in National History Day. The students began by exploring the Historical Society’s online collections catalog in Fall 2014, before choosing a topic they would follow throughout the year.
Prior to coming for an in-person research session in the Kiplinger Research Library, Bill guided the students through the “pre-search” process, orienting them to the online catalog, the available subject and topical guides, and the steps that go into requesting specific material to be pulled. Once on-site, Research Services Librarian Laura Barry fielded the students’ pull requests and provided an in-depth orientation to the Library and collections, with a valuable assist by Historical Society member (and charter school teacher) Brian Rohal.
The students conducted research throughout the year and each completed a project that fit into one of five different categories of presentations (specifically, board exhibits, documentaries, live performances, websites, and papers). No matter the format, each project followed the 2014-2015 National History Day theme of “Leadership and Legacy in History.”
On April 29th, the SEED School of Washington, D.C. held its first-ever National History Day competition. Laura Barry and Library & Collections Director Anne McDonough, along with teachers, administrators and other professionals, joined Bill Stevens and his students for the school-wide competition. And while the topics ran the gamut, many focused specifically on issues and people closely tied to Washington, D.C. history, such as D.C. Emancipation Day; desegregation of D.C. public schools; the Scurlock Studio; the roll of jazz in integration; and local baseball’s Homestead Grays.
Congratulations are in order – to Bill, the entire SEED community, and to all who participated in the 2015 National History Project process. Following the day’s judging process, 22 students advanced to the city-wide competition, held at the National Archives on April 30 – and six of those students were chosen to compete in the national National History Day program, to be held in College Park, Md. June 14-18, 2015.
And here’s to next Fall’s visit to the Kiplinger Research Library by rising juniors and seniors at the SEED School of Washington, D.C.!