How to Apply for the Summer Institute for Teachers

Application Deadline Extended to Friday May 22!

Dear Educator,

We are pleased to invite educators in grades 4 –12 to apply for the "Learning from the Past: Lessons from New York City's African Burial Ground" Teacher Institute at African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan on July 28–30, 2009. You will be joined by historians, museum educators, education specialists, and Park Rangers with the National Park Service as you investigate the profound stories, current scholarship, and cultural resources of this new national park. This teacher institute will explore the essential role of the African community in the founding of New York City, both enslaved and free, who toiled to build the city and fought for their rights as individuals and as a community.

This letter explains more about the workshop schedule and the application process.

Brief Background on the African Burial Ground:

From the 1690s until the 1790s, both free and enslaved Africans were buried within a 6.6 acre burial ground in Lower Manhattan, outside the boundaries of the settlement of New Amsterdam, later known as New York. Lost to history due to landfill and development, the grounds were rediscovered in 1991 as a consequence of the planned construction of the Ted Weiss Federal Office building, located at 290 Broadway. A memorial at the African Burial Ground National Monument, dedicated in October 2007, honors the memories of approximately 15,000 Africans buried within the 6.6 acre boundary of the original cemetery.

Workshop Topics and Schedule:

This workshop takes place on-site and in the area of the African Burial Ground, located at 290 Broadway in New York City. This workshop contains a balance of scholarship and practical application. Mornings will feature lectures by prominent scholars on the history of enslaved and free Africans in New York City, the area, and other related topics. Afternoons will be dedicated to transferring the knowledge into skills and information for your students with education specialists from the state and from the National Park Service. Please note that part of one of the workshop days will require walking approximately 1.5 miles in a walking tour.

A typical workshop day will look something like this:

9:00 AM: Introductions and overview to the day’s activities

9:30 AM: Scholar presentations or walking tour or guided exhibition exploration

11:00 AM: Break

11:15 AM: Questions and Interactions with scholars/Reflection or focused discussion on morning’s activities

12:00 PM:Lunch (on your own—allow time to pass through security)

1:15 PM: Developing lesson plans based on morning activities

3:00 PM: Wrap up

3:30 PM: Dismissal; option to continue working with colleagues until 4:30 PM

A more extensive schedule and biographies of the scholars will be sent to accepted applicants prior to the institute.

Resources, Readings, and Assignments:

Approximately one month prior to the workshop, participants will receive required readings.

From the information gathered during the workshop, participants will be responsible for creating a curriculum related lesson plan for submission by September 1, 2009. Pending approval, these lesson plans will be posted on the African Burial Ground website for use by teachers worldwide.

Who May Apply:

This Institute is open to current public, private and home school teachers of grades 4–12.


Each participant will receive a stipend of $300 after September 1, 2009, upon acceptance and approval of their curriculum-related lesson plan. Please note that travel and/or lodging costs are not reimbursed.

Application Procedures and Deadlines:

The application consists of three (3) collated copies of the documents outlined below plus your letter of recommendation, also described below, arriving via mail/delivery service by 4:00 pm on Friday, May 22, 2009.

Each application will be reviewed by a panel of three evaluators. Therefore, we must receive 3 collated identical sets of your application. Each set should contain, in this order: cover sheet, essay and resume, and a copy of your sealed letter of recommendation. Each set should be stapled individually.

Please follow these directions carefully. Failure to follow these instructions carefully may result in elimination from the applicant pool.

  1. A cover sheet, containing the following information:
    1. Your name
    2. Your mailing address
    3. Your school name and full mailing address
    4. Grade and subject(s) you teach
    5. Number of years you have been teaching
    6. Number of students you teach per year
    7. Your home e-mail address
    8. Your home and school phone numbers
    9. Other workshops attended in NYC or other places (please include topics)

2. An essay of no more than one double-spaced page in length. This is the most important part of the completed application.The African Burial Ground reveals many different stories, including the African experience in early NYC history and the civic responsibility demonstrated by citizens who fought to preserve the Burial Ground once it was rediscovered. Please describe how your lesson plans might engage students in the stories of the Burial Ground. Includeinformation about your professional background and how you think yourexperience at the workshop will enhance your teaching or school service.

  1. Your professional resume.

  1. A letter of recommendation, on the institution’s letterhead, from the principal or department head of your teaching institution or the head of a home school association in support of your application. Please request that three (3) copies —the original plus two copies —of your letter of recommendation be placed each in a separate envelope with the principal’s or supervisor’s signature, or school stamp or seal stamped across the sealed flap of the envelope. These envelopes must be enclosed in your application envelope.

Your completed application must be received via mail or delivery service no later than 4:00 PM on Friday, May 15, 2009. Send or deliver applications to:

African Burial Ground National Monument

290 Broadway, First Floor

New York, New York 10007

Attn: Tamika Guishard

Successful candidates will be notified by Monday, June 8, 2009, via e-mail. If accepted, applicants must confirm their participation by Monday, June 15, 2009. Once participation is confirmed, participants will receive readings, a detailed agenda, and other related information.

We look forward to seeing you at African Burial Ground this summer! If you have any questions, please contact Carole Brandi at 212.637.3089.


Tara D. Morrison


Last updated: February 26, 2015

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Mailing Address:

African Burial Ground NM
C/O Federal Hall National Memorial
26 Wall St

New York, NY 10005


(212) 637-2019

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