Program Updates

A Civics Blueprint beyond Illinois

Monument to the Spirit of American Citizenship

Civics education is a critical factor to achieve a promising future for citizens of the 21st century. Today, we are looking at a presidential election in which we see anger, cynicism and distrust.

Civics education gives students an informed voice. Civics education promotes a platform for civic engagement to use their voices to become responsible, competent citizens for life.

Barat began a new grant funding cycle with the Library of Congress’ Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program on October 1st.  Barat is partnering with the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) of Los Angeles to create units of instruction to fit national current standards that will embed civics into middle and high school classrooms in the areas of math, science, English, and the social sciences.

Together, BEF and CRF-USA are developing an actionable plan of civic education to prepare students to engage in thoughtful public discourse, make informed decisions and to respect democratic processes.

The Library of Congress hosted its second online conference focused on the use of primary sources in the classroom.  The Barat team presented a workshop entitled Building Deeper Connections to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), College Career, and Civic Life (C3), and Civic Competencies with Primary Sources.  An international audience attended the one-hour online presentation with participants from across the country and as far away as Belgium.

Barat’s partnership with the Golden Apple Foundation continues through both the Our American Voice® and the Teaching with Primary Sources programs.  Twelve mentors from the Golden Apple staff are participating in Barat’s TPS Mentor Development program and will share their knowledge and support with Golden Apple’s pre-service scholars during its 2017 summer workshops.

Barat is proud that our programming continues to grow; that we have successfully integrated primary sources into the Our American Voice ® program curriculum across the state of Illinois.  And we are now in the position to reach out to a wider scope of educators.

The Primary Source Nexus http://www.prmarysourcenexus continues to be used as a resource by teachers from across the country. 41,160 visitors have used the Nexus in the last six months.


About the author

Mara Grujanac

Mara Grujanac

Mara (Paich) Grujanac,'Ed.D, Barat Programs Director
Dr. Grujanac received a Doctorate Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University in Chicago. She has been the Director of Programs since 2011 and instrumental in developing the vision of a “train-the-trainer” program for the Library of Congress that is being implemented in various school districts to ensure the sustainability of the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources beyond Barat’s participation in the program. Her professional experience includes over twenty years of experience in elementary schools as a Director of Technology, Technology Curriculum Coordinator and as a classroom teacher of math and science courses.

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