Reaching Over 12,000 Students in 2021: The Presidential Primary Sources Project
In its 2021 season, the Presidential Primary Sources Project reached over 12,000 students. Connecting over 200 classrooms in over 40 states to National Park Service rangers and presidential historians across the country, the Presidential Primary Sources Project offers high-quality distance learning opportunities. The project is a partnership between the Internet2 Community Anchor Program (CAP), the National Archives, and the National Park Service. Focused on analyzing primary sources, the series of 20 program sessions allow students to interact directly with experts at historic sites and presidential libraries through live videoconferencing.
The program’s attendance increased by 69% over last year. Therese Perlowski, CAP’s program manager, attributes much of the success to the program’s partners and the impressive quality of their presentations. “Even in a time when many students and teachers are ‘zoomed out,’ our programs continue to grow because they offer an engaging experience that allows students to build their own critical thinking skills alongside experts in their field,” she says.
Teachers share the Presidential Primary Sources Project is a “powerful way to make content come alive” and an “amazing resource” for students to engage with “high-quality information and diversity of perspectives.” With a focus on critical thinking, the sessions provide valuable historical context and tools for independent analysis in understanding the office of the presidency, civic engagement, and the lasting legacies of our nation’s leaders.
As a result of the program’s success, PPSP is collaborating with the Truman and Clinton Library to provide two weeklong teacher professional development series programs. The workshops will offer free expertise on how to incorporate primary sources and navigate historical themes in their curriculum. Learn more about these teacher professional development workshops.