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September 23, 2010

Bronx School Highlighted in Library of Congress Professional Development Program

In a new professional development module from the Library of Congress, teachers in an urban school setting show how students can learn through the use of primary sources and the inquiry process. The new program, "Supporting Inquiry with Primary Sources," is an hour-long, self-paced program featuring teachers and students of P.S. 153 from Co-Op City (the Bronx), N.Y., and is now available online at no charge.

The Library of Congress selected P.S. 153 teachers Shelley Sanderson, Ernestine Sweeting and Jacqueline Brathwaite to appear in the program after the three demonstrated to the Library how their students used its online primary source material found at www.loc.gov during daily lessons. The resulting program also includes commentary on the inquiry process from Barbara Stripling, director of library services for the New York City Board of Education.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, "This creative and remarkable group of students has worked with the Library over the past year to hone their inquiry skills and use the primary sources in the Library’s collections as a basis for their studies." The student’s inquiry skills are displayed in the interactive through their in-depth study of the Draft Riots of 1863 using primary sources from the Library’s digitized collections.

One student from the class at P.S. 153 described the experience of being filmed by the Library of Congress as "one of the most amazing things that took place during the previous school year," and said that as a result of this experience she and her class were able to "set an example by showing teachers and students all around the world how to use primary sources."

The P.S. 153 students and teachers were rewarded for their work with a trip to the Library of Congress in Washington on May 14, 2010. They received recognition for their achievements from Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), who said, "I congratulate the students of P.S. 153 for their many months of hard work and commitment to this project with the Library of Congress. Through their creativity and dedication to learning, the students turned this collaboration into a truly rewarding experience that is sure to stay with them throughout their academic pursuits. The Seventh District is proud to be home to such a dedicated group of students and teachers."

To view the program, "Supporting Inquiry with Primary Sources," one of a series of self-paced interactive modules that offers professional development instruction credits to teachers, visit www.loc.gov/teachers/professionaldevelopment/selfdirected/.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

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PR 10-206
09/23/10
ISSN 0731-3527

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