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Workshops Energize Social Studies Educators

Through the generosity of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, the Jefferson Parish Public School System was selected to host the Let’s Do History Tour sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

“It was a great honor for us host this event and to welcome people from the public, private and parochial systems in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemine, St. Bernard, and St. Charles parishes,” said JPPSS school support specialist Mary Almerico.

The tour consisted of workshops held over two days specifically geared toward elementary and secondary educators who teach social studies and related subjects.

Naomi Couquillon, education specialist for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, said that there has not been a lot of opportunities for social studies teachers to get together to learn new ideas and to learn from each other,

“With this tour, the Smithsonian is hoping to energize social studies teaching,” said Couquillon.

History is an important part of a student’s education,” added Matthew Hoffman, another education specialist with the Smithsonian. “Perspective and background is important in educating the well-rounded student.”

“What we’re looking to do is to energize and invigorate these teachers and get them excited about teaching social studies,” Hoffman said. “We want to show them that there is a lot of support for them and that people are out there creating resources.”

During the workshops, teachers learned new ways to present the social studies material. Teachers were also given the resources from the Smithsonian that they can take back and use in the classroom.