Annoucement of the Grant

The U.S. Secretary of Education recently announced that the WWPL has been awarded a Teaching American History grant of $455,155 by the U.S. Department of Education.  The award is listed through the Waynesboro Public Schools and will fund a three-year program providing history education seminars for high school teachers on the topic of comparative history.  

When she announced the Teaching American History grants, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said, “The Teaching American History grant program offers educators opportunities to work with colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, libraries, or museums to learn more about our country's history, culture, and democratic tradition.  By providing professional development for teachers, we can help them support young people in becoming active, informed citizens."      

The WWPL’s proposal, entitled “Critical Connections in American History,” will establish a professional development program for public school teachers in four of Virginia’s “high-need” school systems to master the traditional elements of United States history.  The three-year program will examine 12 critical intersections at which domestic and international influences combine to define the development of the United States as a nation that changed the course of world history.  

The Teaching American History grant will enhance the teaching skills of 25 participating teachers and the history education of more than 40,000 students over the term of the grant, as well as the intellectual development of countless other students who will pass through the teachers’ classrooms in years to come.  Each teacher will participate in three summer institutes structured around 12 critical events taught by eminent historians, reinforced with a year-long program of reading, three two-day explorations of key historical sites, and six discussion sessions held in the fall and spring of each year.  

The project goals are to strengthen teachers’ understanding of American history, impart a sense of the interplay of factors that influenced national development, provide knowledge of primary documents and material artifacts, demonstrate the use of advanced technology and, ultimately, to improve students’ performance on standardized tests in American history.  

The Local Educational Agency, the Waynesboro, Virginia, public school system, will partner with three other area school systems, Winchester, Fredericksburg, and Amherst County.  The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute, and the Virginia University School Partnership will serve as educational partners.  Casterbridge Tours will provide travel arrangements.

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Wilson was president throughout World War I. He attempted to keep America out of the war and even won reelection with the slogan "He kept us out of war." Nonetheless, after the sinking of the Lusitania, continued run-ins with German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram, America became involved. with the Lusitania, the continued harassment of American ships by German submarines, and the release of the Zimmerman Telegram meant that America joined the allies in April, 1917.

Woodrow Wilson was President when the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920 giving women the right to vote.

Wilson piloted the ship that brought America onto the world stage. He made the first steps of leading us out of isolationism, violating Washington's tenet of avoiding foreign entanglements.

He led America during World War I. His fervent hope was for the US to join a League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations.

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "The Constitution was not made to fit us like a straitjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness."

A Woodrow Wilson Quote: "I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being."

The Seventeenth Amendment was formally adopted on May 31, 1913. Wilson had been president for almost three months at the time. The amendment provided for the direct election of senators. Prior to its adoption, Senators were chosen by state legislatures.

Wilson was the first president to receive a PhD which he got in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He had received his undergraduate degree from the College of New Jersey, renamed Princeton University in 1896.

Woodrow Wilson could not read during the first decade of his life. Though undiagnosed, he may have suffered from a learning disability

Woodrow Wilson was known as "Tommy" until his college years.

Woodrow Wilson during his boyhood, helped establish the "Lightfoot Baseball Club" with his friends. Wilson played second base and was an avid sport fan throughout his adult life.

Woodrow Wilson was the first president to attend the Major League Baseball Fall Classic. He saw the debut of a young 20 year old pitcher by the name of George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

Woodrow Wilson was a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University and the only president to hold an earned doctoral degree.

Woodrow Wilson image is on the $100,000 bill although it is no longer in circulation