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August 10, 2016

Emmy-winning Educational Productions, Course Content Available Free Online Beginning Aug. 16

First-ever free online offering of the Colonial Williamsburg Education Resource Library serving educators and learners with critical history and civics course content
For the first time beginning Aug. 16, the Colonial Williamsburg Education Resource Library of Emmy award-winning educational productions and supporting course content will be made available free online for teachers, home educators, their students and lifelong learners around the nation and world.

“By offering our extensive media library as a gift to America’s educators, we can help alleviate the lack of critical history and civics curriculum available to today’s students,” said Ted Maris-Wolf, Colonial Williamsburg vice president of education, research and historical interpretation and Abby and George O’Neill director of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library. “Colonial Williamsburg’s award-winning productions and course content in particular enhance the way history is taught – and experienced.”

The library contains 800 minutes of video including 27 productions that garnered 16 Emmys, more than 100 lesson plans, background texts, primary source media, interactive Web activities and access to archives of the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Gazette, which has distributed more than 400 lesson plans and other content. Course materials correlate to curriculum standards for all 50 states, focusing on American history from the 1607 Jamestown settlement through the Civil War, with cross-curricular ties to language arts, science, math, art and music. More resources are added every month.

“The Colonial Williamsburg Education Resource Library comprises decades of award-winning productions and curriculum developed by educators, for educators, focused on increasingly neglected American history and civics,” said Lisa Heuvel, manager of program development initiatives for the Colonial Williamsburg Institute for Teacher Professional Development. “Making this content available online supports educators directly and removes financial obstacles to sharing this critical knowledge with the learners who need it most.”

The 28-minute educational productions like the Emmy-winning “Freedom Bound” and “The Global Economy” – known previously as Electronic Field Trips – and supporting course materials target grades 4 through 8 combining video, interactive modules and classroom materials. Historians, teachers, interpreters and museum educators support program development to make history come alive for students.

Free access to the Colonial Williamsburg Education Resource Library is available beginning Aug. 16 by creating an account at Educators can direct inquiries to [email protected].

The Colonial Williamsburg Education Resource Library is supported in part by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund and the Harry L. Kavetas Endowment for Education Initiatives. Development and production is underwritten through the generous support of Patricia and Peter Frechette of Minnesota.

For more than 25 years the Colonial Williamsburg Institute for Teacher Professional Development has operated the Teacher Institute, a series of six-day summer sessions in which participants examine interactive teaching techniques and develop instructional materials that bring history to life in the classroom. They have the opportunity to exchange ideas with historians, review original sources, meet character interpreters and become part of the story in the Revolutionary City. More than 20,000 educators have participated for a potential impact on more than 6 million students.

Media Contact:
Joe Straw