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The NEH Enriches K–12 Education

Whether teachers are accessing online lesson plans or attending a summer professional development program, the National Endowment for the Humanities provides teachers of all disciplines with the tools they need to create rich educational experiences for their students. Its commitment to youth extends outside of the classroom: the NEH supports extracurricular education through exhibition funding and grants for youth programming.

The NEH supports professional-development opportunities for K–12 teachers across the country. Through these programs, teachers engage with rich ideas and develop materials to enhance their teaching. With topics like the American Industrial Revolution, the Chicago skyscraper, mining in the American West, and archaeology in the Southwest, programs appeal to educators from disciplines as varied as social studies and physics, literature and math. In the past five years alone, these programs have reached nearly 13,000 teachers, ultimately enriching the classroom experience for an estimated 2 million students.

The NEH helps bring high-quality humanities learning to their classrooms. With more than 2.5 million unique visitors per year, the NEH’s educational website, EDSITEment makes lesson plans and digital resources developed from NEH-funded projects accessible to K–12 teachers. National History Day, an NEH initiative, encourages meaningful history and civics engagement for 600,000 students and 20,000–30,000 teachers per year in each state and territory. A 2011 study showed that these students outperformed their peers on state standardized tests.

The NEH ensures that students from all backgrounds have access to high-quality extracurricular programs. By funding local organizations across the country as they develop programs promoting literacy, cultural access, and civic engagement for disadvantaged youth, the NEH makes sure students receive support in and out of school. At the same time, by funding quality exhibitions at local museums, historical societies, and other organizations, the NEH supports school field trips and other extracurricular humanities programming.

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