The value of attending National History Day is beyond words. I went to workshops as to how to judge from a national lens. There were 50 states represented by students and other countries as well, so it was great to hear a larger perspective. I attended outstanding PD sessions, from using primary sources with the Library of Congress and The White House Project, through teaching through peace with the USIP, working with the Smithsonian Learning Lab, to ending the second day with the NHD experts. They keyed in on how to guide the children using the resources online in an in-depth manner, so you truly understood the expectations on a national level. I had the opportunity to brainstorm with teachers from all over the country. It was fantastic!
The CT delegation met Wednesday to tour the Capital. It was great having all the CT families together. The best, and probably the highlight of this trip, was meeting Senator Blumenthal. He took time to explain to the students his duties, explained some important Connecticut history related to the Capital, and stood right next to me for the photo op! I was beaming with pride from ear to ear. We then had free tickets arranged by NHD to Newseum, and spent the afternoon taking in all the museum had to offer. My parent and student took advantage of their off time while I was in PD and spent two other days seeing the sights. They went to Arlington, took a trolley around the city, went to the National Archives and much more. They loved taking the Metro learning their way around our nation’s epicenter.
As a result of my love for this program, I took another risk. I applied with the Teacher Fund Grant and my colleague, Melissa Torrente and I received a $10,000 grant to tour Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland from July 8-July 21st. We will study history first hand, focusing on the perspectives of world events from the people who live there. We can’t wait!