National History Day may be not be until June but many students are already beginning work on projects. Students and teachers are preparing for the state and local History Day competitions that will start soon. How can you support these students? Here are ten suggestions for you…..
1. Visit the National History Day website <http://nhd.org/> to learn this year’s theme (Innovation in History), learn more about the contest, see sample topics, see the kinds of projects students and do and the criteria used for judging these projects.
2. Talk to other archivists in your community about their involvement in History Day activities. Consider working together to develop a program to support students and teachers participating in History Day activities.
3. Serve as a mentor. Students may need help locating beneficial resources and may nervous about using archives or other information resources. Help them find the resources they need and be available to review their project and help them prepare for the competition.
4. Add information about History Day to your repository website. Include a list of archival terms and their definitions, provide information on the rules and regulations for your repository and give information on collections or other resources that might support student’s topics.
5. Write an article for your community newspaper or for your school district’s teacher newsletter letting readers know about your repository, your hours and how you can support students and teachers participating in History Day.
6. Provide additional support to History Day students. Offer to wave fees to those students participating in History Day programs. Open on a few Saturdays or evenings to provide students who may not be able to come in during regular business hours an opportunity to use your resources.
7. Offer to speak either at a faculty meeting or a Parent-Teacher Association meeting about your repository and how you can support National History Day or other kinds of educational programming.
8. Serve as an advocate for History Day activities. Encourage community leaders and government representatives on the local, state and national level to support History Day activities and the archival repositories that support these activities.
9. Offer a workshop at your repository for students and teachers working on History Day projects. Provide an opportunity for participants to learn about your repository, how to do research in archives, how to use historical documents and provide time for them do their own research at the end of the repository.
10. Volunteer to be a judge. Even if you can’t get to the national competition in College Park, Maryland, the state and local competitions need judges. Contact your state coordinator to learn more. You can find the list of state coordinators at http://nhd.org/Coordinators.htm.
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