Friday, June 19, 2009

Curriculum Development Team Workshop

This past week, Ralph W. Steen Library faculty and staff held a workshop for the educators taking part in the Curriculum Development Team for the Preserve America Grant Project. Four teachers from East Texas were hired, and we couldn't have asked for a better group.

The workshop began on Tuesday morning and we spent a few hours in the library, going over contracts, the Google group the teachers will be using to discuss and share information, and the TIDES website. Next on the agenda was a tour of the Library's East Texas Research Center, a delicious lunch at Shelley's Bakery, a tour of the Stone Fort Museum, and finally an experiment in geocaching in downtown Nacogdoches with the guidance of the Columbia Geospatial Service Center. Despite the heat and humidity, our educators approached each new adventure with enthusiasm and high spirits!


On Wednesday, we loaded into vans and had a whirlwind tour of cemeteries and historic sites along the El Camino Real. This included stops at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site for a picnic lunch and brief tour, an exploration of Mission Dolores, and a walk though the Monroe-Cook House in Crockett. By the end of the second day, half the teachers were jotting down ideas for lesson plans. By the next morning, they were already brainstorming together through the Google group. All in all, it was a rewarding workshop and helped to renew the excitemtn for the Preserve America Grant and resources that will be made available to the coummunity.


Thank you to Joy, Jeanell, Jacy and Mindy for a fun workshop and a great time! We can't wait to see the lessons and activities you develop for the Project!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Exploring East Texas Cemeteries

In preparation for the 2009 Curriculum Development Team Workshop (four teachers who will be writing lesson plans based on local cemeteries and regional history for the Preserve America Grant Project - the Project Team has been scouting out and exploring cemeteries for ideas and inspiration. For a sneak peak at just a fraction of the treasures hidden in the East Texas country side, check out the photos below. We'll be posting images and stories from the Curriculum Development Team workshop next week, so be sure and check back then for more goodies.

Mission Dolores in San Augustine, Texas

The San Augustine City Cemetery - home to history AND beauty.

The William Gasby Cemetery is a peaceful stretch of land tucked away in Sabine County. 

The McGowan Cemetery in San Jacinto County.