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November 2, 2007

CW brings Teaching American History Conference to Greenwich

Thanks to an anonymous Greenwich, Conn., resident and a friend of Colonial Williamsburg, 65 teachers in Greenwich and Darien public and private schools have the opportunity to attend a day-long Teaching American History Conference, “Bringing History to Life in Your Classroom,” Nov. 6 when Colonial Williamsburg’s education outreach goes on the road.

During the conference, the teachers will step back in time and meet people from the past while learning historical content and engaging classroom instructional strategies. Participants will receive a CD ROM with lesson plans, facsimile artifacts and documents and a subscription to one of Colonial Williamsburg’s distance learning programs, the award-winning Electronic Field Trips, broadcast live to classrooms across the country during the school year.

The Nov. 6 conference brings together 65 fourth- and fifth- grade teachers from the Greenwich and Darien Public and Private schools.

Colonial Williamsburg’s professional development programs have expanded from the week-long summer Teacher Institute in Williamsburg to include day-long seminars to bring Colonial Williamsburg’s program to teachers across the country. During the 2007-2008 school year, Colonial Williamsburg will present 10 one-day conferences in nine states – Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.

Each conference focuses on the use of primary sources and active learning strategies that make history relevant and exciting for students. Teachers will learn how to use role playing, demonstrations, simulations and analysis of primary sources to make history come to life. One of the highlights of the day-long conference in Greenwich is the character portrayals of President Thomas Jefferson and Jupiter, his manservant, engaging in a game of chess. In this theatrical presentation, teachers observe the relationship between a master and his slave and their views on the issues during the American Revolution.

“Greenwich is fortunate to have this anonymous and wonderful friend of history education to help support history and social studies programs in their community. Teachers will be given the resources to make the study of the American Revolution and the founding of our nation engaging and relevant to students,” said Colonial Williamsburg’s Tab Broyles, director of Teacher Professional Development. “The understanding of United States history is important to the development of our students as citizens and future leaders,” added Broyles.

As a result of this conference, Colonial Williamsburg staff hopes teachers will return to their schools with increased historical knowledge and some new active methods of engaging students in learning – and most importantly, a new understanding of how we became Americans and our role as citizens.

For information or to register for the free conference, contact Kymberly Thomas at or 757-220-7965 or Tab Broyles at or 757-220-7975. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trips and other educational resources, visit

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY (447-8679) or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280