Grant Supports Trust’s First Project as the New Host of the New York Council for History Education

The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation awarded the The New York State Archives Partnership Trust (APT), the non-profit arm of the New York State Archives, a $100,000 matching grant for Consider the Source Online: Teaching with Historical Records Project. The project will create an online platform that enables local, regional and statewide collaborations among teachers, cultural organizations and content specialists. In addition, the National Council for History Education designated the APT to head a new council for New York State.

“Primary sources – whether it’s a historical document, an audio recording, or a video – are one of the best ways to teach students about the past,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “Thanks to the Gardiner Foundation’s grant, the Archives Partnership Trust will create an interactive online resource to help educators incorporate primary sources and historical records into their classroom curriculum.”

“Teachers encourage students to make discoveries every day and teaching with primary sources is an excellent way to spark discovery in the classroom,” said Beth Berlin, Acting Commissioner of the State Education Department. “The new Consider the Source Online website will bring together educators and cultural institutions to develop an online network of learning communities and introduce teachers to the how and why of using historical documents in the classroom. There’s no better way to start the Trust’s new leadership of the New York Council for History Education than the launch of this project.”

Funded in part by the Gardiner Foundation’s grant, the APT’s Consider the Source Online website will feature: digitized primary sources selected by educators and connected to the New York State Learning Standards; teacher-developed primary source lesson plans; training modules and videos on incorporating historical records into the classroom; a calendar of professional learning opportunities; and an online support community where teachers and cultural organizations can ask questions and share ideas. The APT and its regional partners will provide tailored professional development opportunities for teachers to create their own primary source-based educational lessons. Work is expected to begin on the project in September with an anticipated completion in August 2021.

The APT also recently partnered with the National Council for History Education to form a state council – the New York Council for History Education (NYCHE). This partnership further enhances the Trust’s ability to promote historical literacy by strengthening regional networks of educators, historians and cultural organizations and providing locally focused professional development and outreach activities. The NYCHE will be chaired by The College of Saint Rose Professor, Kristi Fragnoli, Ed.D. and a team of educators from nine regions around New York State. Recruitment is ongoing to form regional networks of educators to serve as advisors to strengthen the work of NYCHE and provide professional development.

Kathryn M. Curran, Executive Director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, said, “The priority of a historical society’s mission of stewardship is in overseeing its archives. These documents are the most valuable pieces in their collections. Though often overlooked and utilized, these resources offer a personal voice and as such a true reflection of a time and place. The Gardiner Foundation is delighted to partner with the State Archives Partnership Trust to advance the use of these primary resources in bringing these narratives to life and to celebrate our historic societies as important educational resources.”

Laura Wakefield, Interim Executive Director of the National Council for History Education, said, “NCHE is thrilled with the collaboration of the New York State Archives Partnership Trust to build and support the New York Council for History Education. With the help of the Archives Partnership Trust’s leadership and network, the New York Council for History Education will reach history educators, libraries and cultural organizations with opportunities to connect through conferences, receive professional development, stay informed, and advocate for history education. We look forward to growing and serving NCHE’s members across the state of New York through the work of this new state council.”

The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, established in 1987, primarily supports the study of New York State history. Robert David Lion Gardiner was, until his death in August 2004, the 16th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island, NY. The Gardiner Family and their descendants have owned Gardiner’s Island since 1639, obtained as part of a royal grant from King Charles I of England. The Foundation is inspired by Robert David Lion Gardiner’s personal passion for New York history.

The New York State Archives Partnership Trust is a statewide non-profit whose mission is to keep over 350 years of New York’s rich documentary heritage within the New York State Archives accessible and alive though education, preservation, and outreach programs. The New York State Archives is the largest repository of state government records in the nation, holding over 250 million records of state and colonial governments dating back to the Dutch colonial period in 1630. The New York State Archives is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. 

NCHE Welcomes Grace Leatherman as New Executive Director

July 16, 2019

Media Contact: Laura Wakefield, 407-288-3654

The Board of Directors is proud to welcome Grace Leatherman as the National Council for History    Education’s new Executive Director.  Her selection was made after a national search conducted by the Board.  She will begin her appointment in August 2019. “Grace brings experience in a variety of contexts to her new role as NCHE’s Executive Director,” according to Board Chair Sarah Drake Brown. “She has big ideas and a vision that will enable NCHE to collaborate effectively with other professional organizations in support of the teaching and learning of history.” 
Grace Leatherman has an extensive background in history education. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she earned a bachelor’s degree in history, with honors, and a master’s degree in history from the
University of Delaware before teaching history in the Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools.  
Since 2013, she has served as the Maryland History Day Outreach Coordinator at Maryland Humanities.  In this capacity, she worked with over 19,000 students and reached over 1,600 teachers through professional development.  She wrote and implemented grants to fund teacher professional development and, in partnership with Maryland Public Television, the creation of a website to make primary sources accessible to all students, including English Language Learners and those with disabilities. Grace also partnered with Maryland Public Television to build and teach online courses for teachers.  She is an experienced presenter, manager, and facilitator who believes NCHE should take a leadership role in making sure that history curricula throughout the country serve students of all abilities and backgrounds.
Grace Leatherman said, “I have long been an admirer of NCHE, and it is an honor to serve as the new Executive Director.  I look forward to working with educators and partners to make sure that students and teachers receive the very best in history education.”
Grace will assume the role of Executive Director in August.  We look forward to NCHE’s continuing success and further growth under her leadership.
   Press Release PDF


NCHE Members in the NEWS:

June 5, 2019 - Education Dive: 3 Ways Educators Can Dig Deeper in Lessons on Historical Conflicts  by Lauren Barack

April 24, 2019 - Education Dive: 3 Steps for Improving Lessons on the Holocaust by Lauren Barack

April 7, 2019 - New York Times: Is the U.S. a Democracy? A Social Studies Battle Turns on the Nation's Values by Dana Goldstein

Teachers to Participate in NCHE Colloquium: "Technology's Impact in American History"

For Immediate Release
June 10, 2019 - History educators across the nation have been selected to participate in the National Council for History Education’s Technology’s Impact in American History (TIAH) Program at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania June 26-28, 2019.  The program is sponsored by a grant from the Library of Congress’ Teaching with Primary Sources Program.
Teachers selected reflect the diversity of K-12 education, hailing from 15 different states and work in metropolitan, suburban and rural school districts.
This is the third year that NCHE has sponsored the program which focuses on teaching with primary sources from the Library of Congresses digital resources in addition to the US Army Heritage and Education Center resources, both material and online. The USAHEC is the Army’s primary historical research facility.
Teaching with primary sources is a powerful way to engage students, as well as to help them develop critical-thinking skills, construct knowledge and conduct research.  Primary sources are the raw materials of history -original documents and objects that were created during the time period under study. 
At the colloquium, teachers will work with an NCHE team including a historian and education specialists to learn more about how the military has shaped technology and innovation in American history.  Each teacher will create a primary source-based lesson plan on technology’s impact in American history to take back to their classroom.  Read more

NCHE Welcomes Cokie Roberts as Distinguished Advisor

The National Council for History Education (NCHE) welcomes journalist and author Cokie Roberts to NCHE's Distinguished Advisors.  Cokie Roberts is an author of history books about the remarkable contributions of women to this country's founding and co-writer of a syndicated column in addition to being a political commentator for ABC News and NPR.  She recently served a three-year term on the NCHE Board of Directors and was the keynote speaker at the 2015 NCHE national conference. As a Distinguished Advisor, she will provide advice and assistance to the Board of Directors. 

NCHE Announces Eight New Board Members

March 2019 - The National Council for History Education (NCHE) announces the selection of Chris Bunin, Tony DiSarioCharles Errico, Kevin Krahenbuhl,  Luis Martinez-Fernandez, Joshua Reid,  Jenny Nicholas, and Mike Williams to join the council’s Board of Directors.  The new members will join the Board at the NCHE annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 14, 2019. Each will serve a two-year term beginning in 2019 and concluding in 2021.  Learn more


About NCHE

The National Council for History Education provides professional and intellectual leadership to foster an engaged community committed to the teaching, learning, and appreciation of diverse histories.