With NEH support, Shepherd University has offered three summer institutes for K–12 public school teachers from across the nation. In its first three years, “Voices From the Misty Mountains” reached teachers from 22 states and, through them, thousands of students. In the program, 16–25 teachers gather for three weeks to explore the Appalachian region through its literature, music, social history, dramatic arts, and storytelling traditions. Teachers—known as summer scholars—learn from renowned Appalachian writers, among them Nikki Giovanni, Silas House, and Frank X Walker. They also work with the actors and directors of the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. In storytelling workshops and other discussions, the scholars consider both Appalachia’s cultural heritage and the powerful impact of storytelling on personal identity.
“As a teacher, I have become empowered to empower my students.”
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