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Registration deadline for summer teacher programs is May 1

ISSUED: 2 March 2023

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WVWest Virginia teachers and librarians can earn $1,000 stipends by participating in one of two summer institutes that will give them additional classroom resources.  

The Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education and the Shepherd University Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities invite West Virginia teachers to apply for the institutes before the May 1 deadline. Both offer professional development credit, and social studies teachers may apply for both institutes and receive $2,000 in professional development stipends.  

Civic Engagement Workshop  

The “People Powered: Civic Action, Community Engagement, and American Representative Democracy” workshop is designed to enhance high school and middle school history, civics, and social studies curriculum.   

West Virginia middle and high school and advanced placement educators who teach social studies, history, and civics can apply to participate in a workshop that will give them additional classroom tools. It is also open to West Virginia undergraduate and graduate education students. Participants can choose to take the workshop on either June 28 or 30.   

Workshop participants will access lesson plans derived from Byrd Center archives designed to engage students in learning that is inquiry-based, experiential, high-interest, and connects to the broader concepts of American government and civic life in West Virginia and the Appalachian region. Paired with tested learning tools from such highly regarded institutions as the National Archives, “People Powered” will provide a robust resource for West Virginia educators to incorporate into their classrooms.  

Those who participate in the workshop will receive $1,000 stipends. They will also submit a presentation virtually in April 2024 about a student social studies project evolving from People Powered. The teacher making the best presentation will win a $5,000 prize for their school and four runners-up will receive a $2,500 prize each for their schools.  

Sponsored by the Byrd Center, the workshops are made possible by a Benedum Foundation grant.  

For more information and to register, visit the People Powered webpage. For questions contact project director Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt.  

Appalachian Culture Teacher Institute 

The “Voices from the Misty Mountains Teacher Institute” will take place July 12-21 and is offered virtually, face-to-face, or hybrid. Misty Mountains is funded by the West Virginia Humanities Council and the Shepherd University Foundation. It is open to kindergarten through 12th grade teachers from all disciplines and librarians.  

Institute artists and scholars will include award-winning Affrilachian poet Frank X. Walker, Shepherd history professors Dr. James Broomall and Dr. Benjamin Bankhurst, West Virginia storyteller Adam Booth, Appalachian ethnomusicologist Rachael Meads, and Institute director Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, 2006 West Virginia Professor of the Year.   

Participants in the 10-day institute will receive a $1,000 professional development stipend for expenses and classroom resources. Teachers can register at   

For more information about both institutes, contact Shurbutt.  

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