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Picturing America Program
|Regular Feature in the Gazette
March 1, 2008
The Picturing America program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities will provide public and private schools, and Head Start Programs with copies of American art, a teachers guide and other resources. In addition to introducing students to great American art, the program aims to enhance the study of American history, social studies, language arts, literature, and civics.
Picturing America Program
At the White House on February 26, 2008 the National Endowment for the Humanities launched Picturing America(SM), an innovative program that helps teach American history and provides students with a gateway to the broader world of the humanities.
Picturing America is composed of forty, carefully selected works of art spanning several centuries — all by American painters, sculptors, photographers and architects. The NEH will distribute large, high-quality reproductions of these images, along with a teachers resource book, lesson plans, and materials, to schools and libraries nationwide. Including the newly unveiled Web site, PicturingAmerica.neh.gov, Picturing America’s resources unlock the potential in each work of art to enhance the study of American history, social studies, language arts, literature, and civics.
“Our goal is eventually to have Picturing America in every school and public library in the United States,” said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. “We are especially delighted to have the support of the President and First Lady in this historic initiative and believe their leadership will move us closer to reaching this goal.”
Feedback from educators participating in a pilot program has been tremendous.
“That box of posters is such a treasure trove! I have so many ideas, and the companion book with lesson suggestions has been a valuable asset,” said art teacher Jan Kolesar from Captain Samuel Douglass Academy in Brookline, New Hampshire. “It has been fantastic to see how the students react to the posters with awe and many questions. I am really excited to begin using all of the posters with other lessons.”
In addition to schools and libraries, through an interagency agreement, NEH and the Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services will work together to make Picturing America available to the 20,000 Head Start centers around the nation. This partnership will provide for the development of materials to supplement Picturing America and ensure that the program will enhance early childhood development and family literacy.
About Picturing America
Public, private, parochial, and charter and home school consortia (K-12), as well as public libraries in the US and its territories, are eligible to receive Picturing America materials. Interested schools and public libraries can apply through the NEH, with an application deadline of April 15, 2008 for receipt in the fall. Detailed instructions for submitting an application can be found in the ‘Apply Now’ section of the Picturing America Web site, PicturingAmerica.neh.gov.
Picturing America comes with a comprehensive package of materials that includes:
-- Forty large, high-quality color reproductions of the selected masterpieces (24” x 36”)
-- A comprehensive teacher’s guide providing a wide range of ideas and background information to support educators using the works of art in core subject areas
-- Additional resources and lesson plans available through the Picturing America Web site, PicturingAmerica.neh.gov
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The study of the humanities — history, literature, philosophy, and the arts — helps us explore what it means to be human. The humanities enable us to understand the world and our place in it.
Because “democracy demands wisdom,” NEH serves and strengthens our Republic through promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. Through its programs, NEH provides opportunities for all citizens to embrace the humanities and benefit from their wisdom. For more information about NEH, visit www.neh.gov
Note: You must apply by April 15, 2008.