Teachers invited to apply for free Electoral College workshop

Press Staff Writer

        The U.S. Capitol Historical Society (USCHS), in partnership with the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, is inviting educators to apply for an upcoming workshop on the Electoral College.
        Hayes Presidential will sponsor and select Midwest history, civics or social studies teachers to receive civic education training about the 1876 Hayes-Tilden election—one of the most controversial in American history—to help students better understand the Electoral College.
        The selected teachers will be joined by additional educators from across the country nominated by their Congressional representatives and sponsored by the society. The workshop will take place Feb. 22-23 at the Hayes Presidential at Spiegel Grove in Fremont.
        Learn more and apply for Hayes Presidential sponsorship at rbhayes.org/news/2024/01/05/general/teachers-apply-now-for-electoral-college-workshop-at-hayes-presidential. Applications are due Wednesday, Jan. 31.
        “The Electoral College is one of the most important aspects of the American governmental system, yet one of the least understood,” said Jane L. Campbell, president and CEO of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. “The purpose of our workshop and companion play is to offer educators the tools they need to teach this subject thoroughly, compellingly and most importantly, clearly. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Before long, their students will join the electorate and help us elect the next leader of the free world.”
        “The Electoral College is confusing to many,” said Christie Weininger, Hayes Presidential executive director. “It’s the electoral college that determines who wins a presidential election, but people don’t understand why the electoral college exists or how it works. That’s why we think it is important to teach about it in schools.”
        On Thursday, Feb. 22, the workshop will begin with a welcome reception and stage reading of “Electionland,” an educational play about President Hayes and his 1876 election. The production was developed by StoryWorks Theater, which utilizes theater arts to create a deeper understanding of the Constitution. The stage reading will be performed by local actors at 6:30 p.m. Free tickets for the general public are available but must be reserved online at showclix.com/tickets/electionland.
        On Friday, Feb. 23, the selected teachers will participate in hands-on sessions using primary sources from the Hayes Presidential collection and the National Archives and Records Administration to help them be better prepared to teach about the Electoral College and contested elections. Following the workshop, the society will add these teaching resources to its We the People Hub, a free online education site for educators, parents, and students (oercommons.org/hubs/wethepeople).
        Eligible teachers must teach American history, civics or social studies in grades K-12 although the workshop is geared toward middle school and high school teachers. Teachers must be currently employed at a public, private or charter school.
        Eligible teachers must be able to attend the workshop in person and have a commitment to promoting civic education to students and the local community.
        There is no fee for the workshop. A limited number of travel stipends are available to help with expenses.


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