2008-09-05 / Society

SC Archives and History Foundation reaches all through education

Contributed by SC Archives & History Foundation

The SC Archives and History Foundation (SCAHF) Executive Committee member, Kathryn D. Durham of Columbia, is aware of the importance in promoting the preservation of the documentary and cultural heritage of the Palmetto State. One way the SCAHF supports history education is through the National History Day Program (NHD) which reached more than 9,000 middle and high school students during the 2007- 2008 school year. It will continue to grow.

Durham supports the South Carolina Department of Archives and History and the SCAHF with the National History Day Program. NHD is an opportunity to engage middle and high school students in a formal operative thinking process. They do research and present and defend their findings to a panel of professionals and historians. Projects are based on a general topic designated by the national offices at the University of Maryland. The 2007 National History Day Teacher of the Year (a national award) went to a teacher in the Upstate. The 2008 SC National History Day Teacher of Merit was Mary Ann Odom of Crayton Middle School.

The NHD Program begins during the fall semester with the school competitions. The regional and state competitions are held during the spring semester and nationals are held during the summer.

Durham's granddaughter, Rebecca McGregor from Rock Hill Middle School, participated in National History Day last year at the school, regional, and state levels.

"It was an amazing experience to compete against other students my age with a history project. I really enjoyed being able to look in depth at a certain topic that interested me. Competing in the category of individual performance combined my love of acting, history, and writing. Over the span of four months, I explored the topic of public school integration in New Orleans in 1960. During my research, I had the opportunity to converse with someone who experienced this firsthand," said Rebecca.

"The in-depth research and creativity that goes into preparing these projects is amazing. I have been fortunate to see a number of the displays as well as some of the dramatic presentations that represent the hard work of these enthusiastic students. Continued financial support for this program by the foundation is critical to the history curriculum in our schools," noted Durham.

The South Carolina Archives & History Foundation supports the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. It is the caretaker of the South Carolina Archives, a collection of more than 300 years of historical documents recording the rich and diverse history of the people and government of South Carolina. In addition to preserving the documentary and cultural history of the Palmetto State, the Department also administers a variety of programs through the State Historic Preservation Office that help identify, recognize, and preserve the state's architectural and archaeological heritage.

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