Teaching American History Program Participants Receive National Honor

The more than 85,000 participants in OII’s Teaching American History Program are winners of the 2013 Friend of History Award from the Organization of American Historians (OAH). The award, which is given in recognition of outstanding support for historical research or the public presentation of American history, was presented to two representatives of the TAH program at OAH’s 106th annual conference on April 13.

OAH President Albert M. Camarillo and President-Elect Alan Kraut (far left and right, respectively) present the Friend of History Award to Avi Black and Rachel Reinhard. (Photo courtesy of Organization of American Historians and photographer Michael Regoli, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0.)The Teaching American History Program, according to the OAH press release announcing the award presentation, "offered the most extensive program ever developed to reimagine and renew the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States and its territories." Begun in 2001, the program "engaged a staggering 80,000 elementary and secondary classroom teachers from more than 3,700 school districts in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa." The program's more than 1,300 yearlong and summer seminar programs that have served local school districts and teachers were also cited in the OAH announcement, resulting in "enthusiastically committed teachers and faculty" who are continuing "to recast the shape of American history classroom experience for millions of students." Avi Black, TAH project director for the Alameda County Board of Education (California), and Rachel Reinhard, director of the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project, co-accepted the award on behalf of the TAH community.

The OAH is the largest learned society and professional organization dedicated to the teaching and study of the American past. Members span a range of history-related professions that include college and university professors, elementary and secondary teachers, students, and museum curators.