With your participation, the Zinn Education Project reached hundreds of thousands of teachers and students in 2010. While national education policy and school district budgets sidelined social studies, the Zinn Education Project effectively promoted and supported the teaching of a people's history in classrooms across the country.
Of course, 2010 was also a year of great loss with Howard Zinn's death on January 27. Naomi Klein lamented, "We just lost our favorite teacher." We agree. We are all the more committed to continue the work of the Zinn Education Project in his honor and in support of all those who fight for peace and justice.
Here are selected highlights from the past year:
In January we conducted an "Ask Howard" blog talk radio show with Howard Zinn, using questions we solicited from teachers across the country. The interview is available permanently online in audio and text and has been shared widely as an article through Rethinking Schools.
Our media outreach resulted in 20 stories about the Zinn Education Project in local and national newspapers and journals, including the widely read YES! Magazine and the Language Arts journal, published by the National Council of Teachers of English.
In March we launched the Teaching Outside the Textbook campaign. Our first project was to solicit essays from teachers about how they teach a people's history. We received 88 detailed stories from teachers across the country with descriptions of how Howard Zinn and A People's History of the United States influenced (in many cases changed) their lives as teachers and how they bring that perspective to the classroom. Thanks to donations from publishers, 21 of those teachers received an entire class set of A People's History and related titles for free.
In June we co-hosted a performance of The People Speak at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) with Voices of a People's History. Throughout the year we have exhibited at key regional and national educator conferences, including social justice teaching conferences in San Francisco, Portland, and Chicago, the National Council for the Social Studies in Denver, and the National Association for Multicultural Education in Las Vegas.
At the request of the filmmakers for The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers we prepared (in record time) a 100-page 8-lesson teaching guide for the PBS-POV broadcast of the film. We wrote, field-tested, and designed the guide for free access online. With WikiLeaks in the news, our guide has served as a vital resource for teachers on war and whistleblowing.
The estate of Milton Meltzer gave us permission to post one of his invaluable historical essays for students. Meltzer was widely respected for his young adult history texts featuring the role of everyday people, yet much of his work is now out-of-print, so we are pleased to play a role in making his work accessible to teachers again. Other authors have given us permission to include their work free of charge including poet Josh Healey, historian/educator Staughton Lynd, and singer/songwriter David Rovics.
Just in time for 2011, our application to CREDO/Working Assets was accepted. We were one of just 40 groups selected for their donation ballot. This will provide vital support for the Zinn Education Project. We will be back in touch to ask for your help with outreach once the ballot is online.