Since the spring of 2011, Ford’s Theatre Education has had the privilege and honor to develop programming for and work with a special group of educators, the Ford’s Theatre National Oratory Fellows. The Oratory Fellows partner with Ford’s teaching artists throughout the school year to integrate oratory and performance into their classroom practice. Fellows represent a wide range of states and grade levels, but they are all working towards the same goals: to improve their students’ understanding of history; to help their students better empathize with other people – whether historical, fictional or right in front of them; to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment in their classrooms; and to help their students cultivate their own creative and powerful speaking voices. They are amazingly dedicated, intrepid and thoughtful educators who have learned how to work together across state boundaries and time zones, so that they may better reach their students and share their love of all things Abraham Lincoln.
As a result of the Oratory Fellows’ work with us, we are honored to announce that the National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE) recognizes Ford’s Theatre as a Center for Literacy Education for 2014. NCLE describes itself in this way: “A Resource… A Collaboration… A Coalition… A Movement to Transform Literacy Education in America.” We think that’s a pretty exciting mission to stand behind, and we couldn’t be more proud that our oratory work has been recognized by this impressive project, led by the National Council of Teachers of English. To know that we at Ford’s Theatre can make a difference in the lives of teachers and students – helping them to become stronger readers, writers and citizen leaders – is enough to keep us working as hard as ever!
Centers for Literacy Education (CLEs) are made up of groups of educators, such as our National Oratory Fellows, who commit to improving literacy learning for their students by working together across multiple subjects and grade levels. They are deepening their own professional learning even as they focus on working together more effectively to meet the specific needs of learners. To help other schools and teachers facing similar challenges, Centers for Literacy Education agree to “make their work public” by regularly sharing stories, reflections and artifacts about how literacy teaching and learning is changing through their work together. You can learn more about our work as a Center for Literacy Education here.
The National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE) brings together leading education associations, policy organizations and foundations to support powerful learning about literacy in every discipline and sustained school improvement. Learn more about the NCLE Community and the Literacy in Learning Exchange at http://www.literacyinlearningexchange.org.