Press Release


October 2, 2018


KEDC Receives Presidential and Congressional Academies
(American History and Civics) Federal Grant

The Kentucky Educational Development Corporation has been selected to receive funding from the United States Department of Education under the ACADEMIES FOR AMERICAN HISTORY AND CIVICS PROGRAM to support Presidential and Congressional Academies for the next five years. This announcement came from the Congressional Offices of Harold Rogers (5th District of Kentucky), Andy Barr (6th District of Kentucky), and the Office of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senator for Kentucky.
Project ASPIRE (American Success through Purposeful Instruction and Rigorous Education) will offer professional development for 75 teachers (veteran and new teachers) each year to strengthen their knowledge of American History and Civics. ASPIRE will also provide opportunities for students (grades 6-12) to develop a broader and deeper understanding of these subjects during Congressional Academies. Teachers will engage with Presidential Academies with the following themes each year: 1) Creating and Defining a Nation; 2) Preservation and Redefining a Nation; 3) Industrialization and Civic Evolution; 4) World War and Growth of Executive Power; 5) Civil Rights and the Growth of Judiciary Power. Teachers will also participate in Experiential Immersion Presidential Academies to a significant historical city within each theme and will be provided expert content and in-depth knowledge of the historical subject matter from University Professors and Historians. ASPIRE participation will focus on the school districts of Bath, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Lewis, Magoffin, Montgomery, and Russell Independent. Remaining school districts may have an opportunity for teachers to join based on need and priority from their educational programs.

Key program goals and components that ASPIRE will look to achieve include: 1) increasing teacher content knowledge and teacher methodology; 2) providing Academies for staff and students to increase student interest in American History; 3) establishing partnerships with teachers and Historians through Presidential Academies; 4) sharing research and involvement with teacher reflections in Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s); and 5) strategies that improve Principals content knowledge and instruction for observing American History and Civics.

Educational partners that will collaborate with KEDC on this project include the National Council of History Education (NCHE), Gettysburg Foundation, Gettysburg National Military Park, the National Constitution Center, The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement, the Library of Congress, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, the Kentucky Council for the Social Studies, and the Kentucky Department of Education.

The Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics Grant is part of the Teacher Quality programs under the Office of Innovation & Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. Project ASPIRE is an educational program that promotes innovative instruction, strategies, and professional development in American History, Civics, and Government with an emphasis on activities and programs that benefit low-income students and underserved populations.

“The importance of education cannot be underestimated, especially one’s foundation of American history, civics, and geography. This grant will give educators throughout Kentucky the ability to utilize technology and professional development opportunities to refine their skills used in the classroom. I applaud the work of the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation and I am grateful for the experiences this grant will provide the Commonwealth’s educators.” – Congressman Andy Barr