July 22, 2009
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Library of Congress grant helps teachers
O'Neill-Jones has traveled to several states this summer to integrate TPS into existing initiatives.
Metropolitan State College of Denver Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program has received an additional grant of $732,000 from the Library of Congress.
The grant is split between TPS's regional program and its Colorado program.
"The grant to the regional program means that we're moving toward making it a permanent part of the Library of Congress," says TPS Director Peggy O'Neill-Jones.
TPS's purpose is to train educators at all levels to use primary source materials from the Library of Congress. Those materials may include raw elements of history, such as letters, manuscripts, diaries, speeches and photographs. More than 11 million digitized primary sources are freely available to download athttp://www.memory.loc.gov.
The regional program received $400,000 to continue coordinating and directing programs in the 14 states that constitute the Western Region. The Colorado arm of TPS was refunded for another year with a grant of $332,000.
"Working with primary sources from the Library of Congress can transform education," says O'Neill-Jones. "The power of primary sources is they don't answer questions, instead they generate questions. Students wonder about the topic and begin their own investigation. They are learning because they want to know."
The $400,000 represents a $115,000 increase over last year's funding, which O'Neill-Jones says will support expanded activities in additional states of the Western Region. When Metro State's program was selected to become a pilot regional program in June of 2007, it covered seven states in the Mountain/Plains Region.
TPS programs include Librarian Days and When History Happens (WHH) projects. At this point last year, the WHH created a 21st century learning environment around the Democratic National Convention. Its collaborators were TPS-Colorado, the Denver Newspaper Agency, the Colorado State Library, the Bibliographical Center for Research and the Council on 21st Century Learning.
This summer, O'Neill-Jones has been to Arizona, Utah and Alaska helping them start statewide TPS programs or working with them to integrate TPS into existing initiatives.
To learn more about the TPS program, go to http://www.mscd.edu/tps/.