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New York State Archives                                             
Grant Application and Reference Materials 20012002

PART 2-7: GRANT PROJECT CATEGORIES 


EDUCATIONAL USES OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT RECORDS


All eligible local governments may propose projects to use local government records as teaching tools in the classroom and in community programs to encourage cooperation between educators and local governments. Projects that have the potential to develop long-term collaborative relationships between local governments, teachers, and students will receive preference during review.

At the conclusion of an educational uses grant, a local government must demonstrate how its grant project helped address the State Education Department’s new learning standards or to promote the management of local government records. The local government must also describe ongoing cooperation between local governments, teachers, and students. In addition, the State Archives encourages project participants to conduct workshops or information sessions for their respective schools, local governments, and research institutions on the benefits of using local government records in the classroom.

Grant recipients are strongly urged to encourage students in grades 4 through 12 to submit a project to the New York State Archives’ Student Research Award program. The winners receive cash awards. For more information, and to receive a copy of the award guidelines and application form, call (518) 474-6926, or access the information on our website.

Category Requirements

  • Prior to submitting an educational uses grant application, applicants must contact either their Regional Advisory Officer or Julie Daniels at (518) 474-6926 to discuss project ideas, guidelines, the application process, and whether the records proposed are local government records.
  • Applications that make substantive use of local government records are eligible for funding. Other records such as business, community organization, or church records, or holdings of a local historical society or library, may be used where such use meets an important informational need.
  • Applications must address how the proposed project will support the applicant’s overall records management objectives and the State Education Department’s new learning standards.
  • Applications must show evidence of some knowledge or background in the use of local government records in education. Such evidence may include:
  • Experience using local government records as the basis for lesson plans or for educational programs that promote the systematic management of local government records. Such experience may be demonstrated by including a statement about the kinds of records used and how they were used, a copy of a lesson plan or teaching packet based on local government records, or a copy of a plan to promote records management in local government.

  • Participation in a workshop, such as "Primarily Teaching", offered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

  • Participation in pre-service or in-service training on how to use local government records in the classroom.

  • Intention to hire a consultant for the project who has expertise in teaching with local government records.

  • If an applicant intends to use records of local governments other than its own, these other governments should be involved in the early stages of preparing the grant application. The applicant must submit a letter of support from each local government indicating its intent to participate and outlining its responsibilities in the project. The letter should be sufficiently detailed so it is clear to reviewers that each local government understands its role.
  • Include a plan in the application narrative for the distribution of materials produced. A copy of all reports, teaching materials, and packets produced with grant funds must be submitted to the State Archives. Final products should also be distributed to all local governments whose records were used, to local governments whose staff participated in planning or training sessions, to all participating teachers, to all school district libraries of participating teachers, and to appropriate educational and research institutions.
  • Local governments must show how they will provide post-grant support for this project/program.
  • All employees of local governments, whether they are from the applicant local government or not, may participate in these grants.

Activities Eligible for Support

The eligible projects listed below have the potential for long-term impact on education and local government records management, and are encouraged above all others. Applicants may also propose other types of educational uses projects. The average grant award for the educational uses category in the 2000–2001 grant cycle was $12,710.

  • Technology, Local Government Records and Education. Projects will employ multimedia technology that allows educators, students, and others to participate actively in the learning process.

    Applicants wishing to purchase technology equipment with grant funds should:

    • Show how the purchase of equipment directly relates to using local government records in the classroom.

    • Show how the equipment purchased will continue to be used for educational uses of local government records projects or records management after the completion of the grant cycle.

    • Equipment whose purchase has been successfully justified include: flatbed scanners, digital cameras, and laptop and desktop computers. Requests for multiple pieces of equipment are discouraged.

      For example, an applicant might consider developing an educational multi-media project that uses local government records to investigate an important community issue and encourages students to develop possible solutions to the issue, such as the impact of a solid waste landfill on a community. The project could use local government board meeting minutes (audio, video, or print), video or audio coverage of the landfill, environmental studies; landfill usage records, land use and zoning records; planning documents; topographical maps; or photographs.
  • Teacher Training. Projects will develop programs to train teachers in the use of local government records as teaching tools in the classroom. Applicants are encouraged to cooperate with faculty and pre-service teachers at university schools of education.

Typically, a teacher training project involves trainers who instruct teachers how to research and identify local government records acceptable for classroom use. Included is the development of learning activities and assessment samples based on those records. As part of the training program, teachers visit local governments to research records on their own. Each teacher or team of teachers prepares learning activities and assessment samples, which are then implemented during the school year. Follow-up meetings during the school year are used to revise materials based on classroom testing, to make final project presentations, or to evaluate the success of the project. At the end of the project, the successful applicant must compile the revised educational materials and distribute these to the participants, State Archives, and others.

Strong preference will be given to projects that offer teachers in-service credit from individual school districts or graduate credit from colleges and universities, rather than stipends for attending training workshops. Applicants requesting stipends must justify the amount according to their union contracts.

The project should usually include the following participants:

  • Teachers who are trained in using local government records in the classroom, who will instruct other teachers and provide guidance during site visits.
  • Archivists or records custodians who will discuss archival techniques and procedures and local government records programs.
  • Local government officials, such as town or county clerks, historians, or Records Management Officers who will describe their respective local governments, their duties, what types of records are held, and how to access them.
  • Participating teachers. In the past, grant recipients have found a maximum of twelve participants per instructor to be optimal.
For example, a school district used its grant funds to hold a week-long summer institute that trained twenty-five teachers from a variety of grade levels and disciplines how to incorporate local government records into their instruction. The teachers visited cooperating village, town, and county governments to locate records. Each teacher developed learning activities, based on the records they found, on such varied topics as the Civil War, environmental pollution, and immigration. The teachers tested the learning activities in the classroom during the school year and revised and submitted them in June.
  • Document Teaching Packets and Accompanying Teachers' Guides

A document teaching packet includes a collection of local government documents relating to a particular topic and a teacher’s guide that explains the topic and suggests how to incorporate the documents into classroom instruction. The teacher’s guide can include activities on how to use the documents with students, activity worksheets to use with the documents, suggestions for cooperative learning activities, ideas for assessing student understanding of the topic, suggested additional reading for students, a resource list, and a bibliography.

For example, a county used its grant funds to develop a document teaching packet about social welfare at the turn of the twentieth century. The packet was based on ten documents from that county, including an early map, a page from the register of the county poorhouse, and a photograph of residents of the poorhouse. The thirty-six-page teacher’s guide provided historical background on the documents and a list of questions for each document. A consultant with experience in developing teaching packets was hired as project leader. Staff at the county archives and teachers (who served as consultants) assisted her.

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