In June, two teachers from Angleton and Freeport were selected to attend prestigious professional development institutes in Austin and San Antonio sponsored by Humanities Texas in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Victoria Boone, who teaches English language arts at Angleton High School, participated in “Teaching Literature,” which took place June 10-13 on the UT Austin campus.
The institute provided strategies and resources for helping students to become better readers of fiction, poetry, drama and expository prose, while also addressing the critical reading and media literacy skills necessary for success at the post-secondary level.
The program also featured presentations on incorporating art and film in language arts courses and included an excursion to the Harry Ransom Center, where teachers learned about highlights from the Center’s literary holdings.
The program faculty included distinguished scholars from universities across the nation. During an evening event at the Byrne-Reed House, poet Naomi Shihab Nye read from and discussed her newest collection of poems, “The Tiny Journalist,” with participants.
Monica Sevedge, who teaches Texas history at Clute Intermediate School, participated in “Texas: From Republic to Mega-State,” which took place from June 24-27 at City Education Partners, the Witte Museum and the UTSA campus.
The institute focused on the Republic and early statehood periods, Mexican Americans and Native Americans in nineteenth-century Texas, Texans in the Civil War, cattle and railroads, the Populist and Progressive Movements, women’s suffrage, efforts to secure civil rights for African American and Latin Texans in the twentieth century, LBJ’s Texas, the state’s oil industry and the rise of two-party Texas. Participants also had the opportunity to tour the exhibition ”The Art of Texas: 250 Years“ and attend a lecture by exhibition curator Ron Tyler.
Sevedge attended the San Antonio institute in an effort to gain more resources to use in her classroom.
“I will use the information I learned here to make history more meaningful for my students,” she said.
“Humanities Texas was pleased to cosponsor the Austin and San Antonio institutes,” said Director of Grants and Education Eric Lupfer. “The programs offered teachers the opportunity to study with leading scholars and interact with colleagues from across the state. Participants left the institute energized and equipped with training that will enhance student learning.”
“Teaching Literature” and “Texas: From Republic to Mega-State” were made possible with support from the State of Texas, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation.
Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to advance education through programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning for all Texans.