As summer winds down, students are busy packing their backpacks and teachers are preparing classrooms and curriculum to welcome them warmly. Humanities councils are committed to supporting their local educators, students, and families as they reorient toward and transition back to the classroom for a fresh start.

To prepare teachers for the 2022-23 school year, the Arkansas Humanities Council (AHC) conducted 13 summer teacher workshops to inform K-12 teachers of upcoming educational grants, programs and resources, and help spread humanities education across the state. During the 2022-23 school year AHC will continue hosting professional development opportunities for educators with the overall goal of sharing resources and information in anticipation of the spring 2023 opening of  “Voices and Votes” traveling exhibit. This effort includes a new teacher seminar series, “Bending Towards Justice,” that explores the history of voting rights in Arkansas and the nation.

Over the summer, with support from a grant from Virginia Humanities, Hardwired Global worked to bring together teenage refugees with their non-refugee peers to “help them both make sense of the refugee experience.” Encouraging students to ignite their imaginations, Hardwired’s pilot training program was designed around the fictitious land of “Fruitopia” and used a playful exercise to help Virginian students address challenges to refugee integration. 

On August 27, Amerika Samoa Humanities Council supported youth engagement through the first annual A.B.L.E. (Agency for Better Living Endeavors) Art-Reach Workshops in Su’igaula. This event was open to learners and creatives of all ages and included interactive workshops on painting, traditional and contemporary dance, traditional crafts, photography, and more.

During September, Colorado Humanities is supporting a month of history, anthropological, and archaeological events in La Plata County, including the “History Live” event, “As Seeds, We Grow: Student Reflections on Resilience.” This exhibition by Elise Boulanger “celebrates Indigenous identity and resilience with consideration to Fort Lewis College’s history as a federal Indian boarding school.” 

In Texas, educators are busy pursuing online professional development programs through Humanities Texas’ Teachers Institutes. This fall, the council is partnering with the National Archives and Records Administration and the National Archives Foundation to host a webinar series on primary source pedagogy for U.S. history teachers in the state.

Though the past few years have proved unpredictable and presented unique challenges to teaching and learning, school communities across the country have adapted with grace and resilience. Humanities Councils will continue to support the growth and adaptation of fellow educators throughout the school year.

Written by: Jazzy DiMeglio