U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announces the successful conclusion of the first year of the “Arkansas Declaration of Learning” program, a first-in-the-nation, public-private partnership that works collaboratively with school librarians and educators in the fields of art, English language arts, and social studies to develop innovative curriculum that brings history and art to life and shares the importance of civic engagement with students in grades 7-12.
Through this program, teachers have the opportunity to work with historic art and objects from national and state partners to develop innovative lessons for their classrooms and school libraries that inspire student learning. Arkansas is the first state in the country to participate in this national program; all states are eligible to participate, and others are already in the pipeline.
On November 14, 2016, teachers and school librarians who participated in the program will be honored for their work at two special events in Little Rock, Arkansas. A public event will be held at 10 a.m. at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at 401 President Clinton Avenue. A public and press event will be held at 1 p.m. at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center at 1200 President Clinton Avenue.
The events will celebrate the success of the 26 participants, highlight their work, feature presentations by some of the program’s exemplary educators, and provide additional information on the Arkansas Declaration of Learning program. The 1 p.m. event will include remarks from Dr. Mark Gotcher, Deputy Commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education.
In 2015, a group of 26 Arkansas teachers and school librarians were selected to create dynamic lesson plans and teaching tools using historical objects, works of art, and primary sources from the collections of the founding partners: the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Reception Rooms, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, in collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Education. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center joined the partnership in 2016.
Objects and art selected for the program were used to illustrate national and state-based stories that vibrantly demonstrate the many ways our nation valued civic engagement during its formative years, as well as the importance of this continued focus today. A special focus of this program is to engage students in active learning that teaches the importance of stewardship and civic engagement in the life of their community at the national, state, and local level.
The program is led by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms and is part of a national Inter-Agency Educational Initiative that began when representatives from 13 national partnering organizations signed the “Declaration of Learning” in 2013.
This document pledged that the U.S. Department of State, the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, and 11 other national organizations would work with state and local partners to co-create learning tools for educators and students in middle and secondary education using historical art and objects from their respective collections and best practices in education.
The Diplomatic Reception Rooms are the site for many of our nation’s diplomatic meetings and events including summits, treaty negotiations, official State luncheons, and important Presidential speeches.
Located on the top two floors of the U.S. Department of State, these 42 rooms are modeled after 18th century rooms and spaces in our country’s history. The rooms house a historic museum-quality collection of more than 5,000 fine and decorative art objects that tell the story of our country’s founding and formative years (1730-1840).
The rooms and their historic collections were created and are sustained through generous gifts from American donors, corporations, and foundations.
To RSVP for the Arkansas Declaration of Learning celebration events or for additional information, please email ADOL@state.gov with your full name, title, organization, and contact information.
Press, please contact Drew Bailey at BaileyDC2@state.gov or 202-647-2492, for additional details.
For more information about the “Declaration of Learning” or the “Arkansas Declaration of Learning,” please contact Anne Menotti at MenottiAD@state.gov or 202-647-1990.
Follow @StateDept using the hashtag #ShareHistoryAR.
Source: U.S. State Department.