Preserve America and
Save Our History White House Event
On January 15, 2004, Mrs. Bush announced the creation of a new Preserve America History Teacher of the Year award. The award was established to honor outstanding teachers of American history across the country. Preserve America is working in this effort with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Finalists of the Preserve America History Teacher of the Year will be selected annually - one from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories. From these winners, a national winner will be recognized as the National Preserve America History Teacher of the Year at a ceremony
History teachers at every level, from elementary through high school, are eligible for nomination. Winners will be chosen based on several criteria:
- A deep career commitment to teaching American history;
- Evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom;
- Close attention to documents, artifacts, historic sites, and the other primary materials of history;
- Above all, demonstrated effectiveness in improving students' knowledge of and enthusiasm for American history.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will grant each state winner with a cash award of $1000 and a plaque honoring them as History Teacher of the Year in a ceremony in their home state. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History will also present their school with an archive of primary historical materials, named in honor of that teacher, for use in the school library or resource center. Winners will be selected in each state by panels of distinguished history educators under the supervision of Preserve America and the Gilder Lehrman Institute. The program will be conducted in cooperation with the National Council for History Education, the History Channel, and the Organization of American Historians.
To support the Preserve America initiative, during the month of January, The History Channel's Save Our History program will launch a campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. This campaign will expand on The History Channel's preservation efforts, which have previously centered on the Save Our History broadcast program, an Emmy-Award winning, quarterly series, running since 1995. Both national and local preservation efforts will be encouraged through documentary programming, educational outreach, efforts to save designated historic sites, a national event, and public service announcements. In addition, The History Channel's Save Our History program will provide free lesson plans and school program templates online for teachers across the nation.
When the Preserve America initiative launched, it was announced that communities across the nation would be recognized for protecting and celebrating their heritage, using their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encouraging people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs. At the January 15 event, Mrs. Bush announced the following as the first eight Preserve America Communities:
- Augusta, Georgia
- Castroville, Texas
- Delaware, Ohio
- Dorchester County, Maryland
- Key West, Florida
- Putnam County, New York
- Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- Versailles, Kentucky
These communities have worked hard to sustain and promote their places in history.