With NEH support, the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University has provided engaging professional development workshops to more than 600 K–12 educators. Over the course of six days, teachers examine the Delta’s past and present, experientially and intellectually, focusing especially on the region’s place in the Civil Rights Movement and the development of blues music. They listen to local musicians, walk the landscape, and eat regional cuisine at local restaurants; they attend scholarly lectures and panels led by civil rights activists and FBI agents. When they return to their classrooms around the country, the teachers bring not only a new appreciation for the Mississippi Delta’s role in our national history and culture, but also new methods—focused on food, music, and landscapes—by which to teach regional history to their students.
“The kids were blown away. Kids who have been complacent in my class asked great questions and went up afterward to greet him and take photos with him.”
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