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Inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s oratory, National Oratory Fellows are a network of teachers who cultivate student voices in Grades 5-8 by making public speaking a part of the everyday classroom experience.

Drawing on Abraham Lincoln’s legacy and example as a powerful orator, you will work closely with our teaching artists and staff to learn the art and science behind compelling and effective public speaking. You will also develop your own powerful voice as a teacher. As a fellow, you will develop and strengthen skills to teach text analysis, public speaking, performance and speech writing in your classroom.

A cohort of five fellows begins the August prior to each school year, becoming part of a national network of supportive and like-minded educators. Video conferencing is used to connect fellows and Ford’s staff, and to create an online meeting space for active and collaborative conversations.

Fellows travel to Washington, D.C., twice a year to plan and share work. At times throughout the program, they bring student delegates with them to learn and perform on the stage of Ford’s Theatre. You will need internet access and a webcam to participate in this fellowship.

To: The application for the 2023-24 National Oratory Fellows cohort opens Monday, November 7, 2022. The application deadline is Saturday, April 1, 2023.



“The program has made me a better, more confident teacher...I believe it to be the finest professional development experience of my career.”

- Dave McIntire, The Independent School


Lincoln Online Oratory Project

Learn and Speak Lincoln’s Words

Not ready to be a Fellow? Try this instead! Your class receives three Teaching Artist visits and creates a video of a speech performance. Application window for the 2020-21 school year is open. This project continues year round.


Support our National Oratory Fellows with a donation today.

“[The program provides] extended, in-depth learning, hands-on resources and support for classroom change, and a national professional learning community.”
Catherine Nelson, Ph.D., Independent Scholar
National Oratory Fellows and Students from 2013 in front of the Lincoln Memorial.