Thanks to a $1,000 grant from the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, local elementary school libraries will receive several new Nevada history books next year from the Douglas County Historical Society. Furthermore, third- and fourth-grade students may compete for essay prizes to be awarded during the 2013-2014 school year.
Designed to augment and enhance Nevada history curriculum in local elementary school classrooms, the Society’s Historical Literacy Project was launched as a pilot project in 2012. Working with third and fourth grade teachers, a highly qualified volunteer developed and successfully tested materials that met Nevada educational standards.
Classroom presentations about the Pony Express Trail and the Wagon Trains that traversed Carson Valley in the 1850s were made to nearly 500 students during the pilot project. Pioneer Educators in the Carson Valley, featuring Nevada’s first woman teacher and examples of early-day schoolrooms, textbooks and lessons, were added this year.
The grant, made in behalf of The Record-Courier and its parent company, Swift Communications, will fund a small collection of local history books from the Historical Society for each Douglas County elementary school library. Students will be encouraged to use these books to research subjects for essays that can be entered in a contest for which awards will be made.
For more information on the Historical Literacy Project, teachers should contact Iris Blaisdell at 392-1772.