For over 10 years, local social studies and history teachers have been able to enhance their teaching by having professional development experiences with hands-on learning sponsored by the Gallia Vinton ESC.
Elementary teachers, as part of the Five Star Liberty Fellowship, spend time each year in professional development, learning new content and teaching strategies from experts in the field. During the summer they culminate with a field study trip. The trips have taken them to Philadelphia and Boston to study colonial America, to Virginia to study the Civil War, and to Alabama and Arkansas to learn about the civil rights movement. They have also visited several nearby states such as Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Illinois where they learned about the history, industry, agriculture, and architecture. The trips allow teachers to bring back first-hand knowledge to share with their students.
The Landmark Moments History Fellowship is a professional development program for middle and high school teachers. The program focuses on topics and areas of study to help teachers enhance their knowledge of American history and its connection to world history. Each school year teachers attend classes and learn from experts from around the country. Then, during the summer they visit the locations they have been studying. Some topics of study have been World War II, the Kennedy, Nixon, Johnson and Reagan presidencies, immigration, the development of our National Parks, and Native American heritage. The program has taken the teachers to several states, including Texas, California, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, Kansas, and New York. The summer field studies allow the teachers to use their experiences to enhance their classroom lessons.
Both groups have visited several presidential libraries and state capitols while traveling.