(Williamsburg, VA) The National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner to the National Park Service, has awarded a $30,000 grant to the National Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association (W3R-US), in partnership with the American Revolution Consortium for Civic Education (ARCCE); two nonprofit organizations established to educate Americans about the American Revolution and the land and water routes travelled by the allied French and American forces to victory at Yorktown.
The organizations are one of 32 parks and trail and park partners to receive an Open Outdoors for Kids Hybrid Learning grant to ensure that national parks and historic trails reach their fullest potential and connect with as many communities as possible.
W3R-US and ARCCE will provide a comprehensive hybrid educational curriculum for Online Distance, In-Class, and Outdoor Learning of students of all ages to learn about the American Revolution period 1763 to 1789, with a particular emphasis on the NPS’s Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail of 1781-82. Fourth and Eighth graders in Title One schools, in particular, will be a major focus of the grant in Virginia.
According to W3R-US Executive Director Ellen von Karajan, “the Association brings the ability to develop this project in nine states along the trail with each state emphasizing its own place based local history”. In addition to helping Virginia Social Studies teachers and their students better understand the importance of the route that was traveled by Generals George Washington and Rochambeau and their armies from Rhode Island and New York to Yorktown, ARCCE CEO Randolph G. Flood says that “the grant will also provide the unique opportunity to implement a comprehensive program for training teachers, museum personnel, National and State Park Rangers, and others about the American Revolution in preparation for planning and organizing the 250th anniversary activities in Virginia and other states.”
Added Director von Karajan, “Using the national historic trail as an anchor, this pilot will tie together the National Park Service and Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail interpretive themes across multiple sites and provide community based activities that can amplify student connections to their own neighborhoods.”
Flood indicated that they would be working with other state 250th Commissions as they develop their own plans to organize and celebrate the events that occurred both before, and after, 1776.