Pueblo City Schools, CSU–Pueblo partnership produces $1 million grant award

Pueblo City Schools will receive nearly $1 million over the next three years to improve the professional development of area history teachers through graduate courses at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

The district is one of only two Colorado school districts to be awarded a U.S. Department of Education (US DOE) Teaching American History Grant. While Pueblo City Schools is the primary recipient of the grant, a portion of the funds also will be used to support teachers of American history in District 70. U.S. Senator Wayne Allard this week notified the district of the $999,934 grant, which will impact the quality of teaching American history by elementary and secondary teachers in Pueblo City Schools and partner Pueblo School District 70 -- or more than 70 schools in Southeastern Colorado serving 23,000+ students.

“I am thrilled for Pueblo City Schools and CSU-Pueblo, for the community, for the teachers and most importantly for the students,” Allard said. “This grant will significantly help the district achieve its objectives of providing quality professional development for its teachers and ensuring
all of its students meet or exceed international standards and measures of achievement.”

The grant will provide in-depth, graduate-level, hands-on training by expert scholars in American history. The team of historians also will offer K-12 teachers an intensive five-day workshop during the summer months in conjunction with the graduate seminars they will take during the academic year. Through the activities, the teachers may become “highly qualified” under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Dr. Matt Harris, assistant professor in the department of history and grant co-author, said his
department is enthusiastic about the opportunity to impact such a large group of area educators.

“This is truly a unique professional development opportunity for these teachers who will receive a significant financial benefit along with enhanced credentials,” Harris said. “Equally important is the impact the University will have on thousands of students across Southern Colorado through our contact with these educators.”

Dr. John Covington, superintendent of Pueblo City Schools, said teachers selected for the program will study significant issues, episodes, and turning points in U.S. history.

“The aim is to understand how the words and deeds of individual Americans helped to contribute to America’s core democratic values of liberty, equality and respect for the rule of law,” Covington said.

This is the second significant grant that Pueblo City Schools has received in the past year, following a $7.6 million federal grant awarded in August, 2007 to establish three magnet schools. Douglas County was the only other Colorado school district to receive a similar US DOE grant.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.