11 Communities Awarded Grants To Preserve Local History

September 8, 2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ — HISTORY(TM) today announced the eleven organizations across the country who will receive Save Our History(TM) preservation grants to further their efforts in conserving local history. Each winning organization, with the support of their television cable affiliates, will use the grant money to fund educational projects that are designed to bring communities together and actively engage young people with innovative plans to preserve their local heritage. This year, HISTORY has committed $100,000 dollars in support of eleven outstanding initiatives which have been awarded grants of up to $10,000 each.

HISTORY, with the counsel of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) and the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH), created the Save Our History Grant Program as an extension of the Save Our History philanthropic initiative. Save Our History  is committed to inspiring and motivating local communities to learn about and take an active role in the preservation of their past through projects involving artifacts, oral histories, sites, museums or landmarks that exist in their own neighborhoods.

A few of the 2009 projects include:

—  The Moton Museum and Prince Edward County students in Virginia will do primary research to identify, locate and collect documentation of the displaced students of the Closed Schools Era in Prince Edward County, site of the landmark Supreme Court Case Brown v. Board of Education.
More than 1100 black students were displaced as a result of the conflict surrounding the case that declared separate but equal education

unconstitutional.  All findings and artifacts will be housed in an exhibit at the Moton Museum.

—  Surface Creek Valley Historical Society in Florida will partner with the Cedaredge High School to educate students about the agricultural

heritage of the Surface Creek Valley, the orchard industry, and the fruit grower’s interaction with their environment.  The students will research, collect, record, and digitally preserve local history about the orchard industry and create an exhibit of their findings.

—  Along the Haines Highway in Southeast Alaska, there is a neglected Tlingit gravesite called 3.5 mile cemetery, dating from 1880-1928.

After 100 years, railings surrounding the cemetery have decayed and headstones have fallen over or settled into the ground.  Haines students will restore and preserve this cemetery and the history of the Tlingit Tribe through maps and a DVD that will be shown at the Cemetery Visitors Center.

In addition to these projects, HISTORY is also awarding Save Our History grants to historic organizations in Florida, New York, South Carolina,
Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

“HISTORY is proud to recognize the outstanding work of all of our grant recipients. These Save Our History projects exemplify the dedication and
creativity needed to preserve the past on a very local level. These students, teachers and organizations are saving history not just for today but for the future as well.  Involving new generations in the importance of history and preservation is the key,” stated Dr. Libby O’Connell, SVP Corporate Outreach and Chief Historian, HISTORY.

Since its inception in 2004, Save Our History educational grant projects made lasting impressions on thousands of participating students.  Achieving a goal of instilling a sense of responsibility and pride in their communities, many students have not only expressed great excitement about their involvement, but some students have even volunteered for project-related initiatives outside the scope and timeline of the program.  In its inaugural year, a Save Our History project in Cleveland saw student attendance during this program increase to nearly 100% each day. In 2006, projects in Miami, New York, Phoenix and Augusta, GA received commendations from the mayors of each respective city, and still other projects, such as The Black Damask Project in Baltimore, will extend indefinitely, apart from the Save Our History program. Overall, HISTORY, together with its television cable partners, has committed over a million dollars towards Save Our History projects as of the 2009 – 2010
calendar years.

Historic organizations interested in receiving funding for preservation projects developed with local schools or youth groups are encouraged to apply for a 2010/2011 Save Our History Grant. Applications will be available beginning in January 2010.

About Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors helps donors create thoughtful, effective philanthropy throughout the world. Originally developed as the private philanthropy service of the Rockefeller family, RPA is now an independent, nonprofit service that represents the cumulative knowledge and experience of more than a century of high-quality professional service to America’s most philanthropic family. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors provides research and counsel on charitable giving, develops philanthropy programs, and offers complete program, administrative and management services for foundations and trusts. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors currently serves more than 160 clients in facilitating over $200 million in annual gifts/grants to more than 60 countries.


AASLH was born in 1904 as a part of the American Historical Association. Over one hundred years later, AASLH is the only national association dedicated to the people and organizations that practice state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all Americans. These history organizations are American leaders in preserving, researching, and interpreting traces of the past to connect the people, thoughts, and events of yesterday with the creative memories and abiding concerns of people, communities, and our nation today.  History organizations are foremost education institutions, and they excel in creating the enlightened, engaged citizenry that the founders envisioned. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides a variety of programs and services, as well as leadership in the national arena.

About Save Our History Educational Materials

The History Channel, in collaboration with leading educators from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), developed a comprehensive Educator’s Manual containing standards-based lesson plans, enrichment activities, and resources that help elementary, middle and high school teachers connect American History content to their local history.  The manual guides teachers to engage students in hands-on, experiential preservation projects.  The Educator’s Manual is supplemented by monthly Save Our History lesson plans available to educators who register online to receive them at

www.saveourhistory.com.  To date, more than 60,000 educators at schools, youth groups, history museums, and historic sites have used the educational materials to teach over 1.8 million students about their local history and the importance of preserving it.

About Save Our History

Save Our History is an Emmy(R) Award-winning strategic philanthropic initiative of HISTORY that launched in 1998, designed to further historic
preservation and history education.  The program supplements the teaching of history in America’s classrooms, educates the public on the importance of historical preservation and motivates communities across the country to help save endangered local historic treasures.  The Save Our History campaign includes original documentaries, special teachers materials, national promotion on The History Channel, broadband activities in schools, and has worked with The Smithsonian Institution, National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National World War II Memorial, American Rivers and The White House 200th Anniversary.

Additional information about the grassroots Save Our History program, including a comprehensive school manual containing suggested lesson plans for grades two through 12 and details about working with local preservation organizations can also be found at www.saveourhistory.com.

HISTORY(TM) and HISTORY HD(TM) are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network’s program offerings are hit series such as  How The Earth Was Made, Ax Men, Battle 360, The Universe, and Ice Road Truckers, as well as acclaimed specials including 102 Minutes That Changed America, King, Life After People, 1968 with Tom Brokaw, Nostradamus: 2012 and Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, four Primetime
Emmy(R) Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy(R) Awards and received the prestigious Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network’s Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network’s latest initiative connecting America’s schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY web site, located at www.history.com, is the definitive historical online source that delivers entertaining and informative content featuring broadband video, interactive timelines, maps, games, podcasts and more.

SOURCE  The History Channel

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