Statement from Our Director

An update from Director Paul R. Tetreault on anti-racist work and the 2020-2021 season at Ford’s Theatre.

Read Statement

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.

This program is an opportunity to build a national network of like-minded teachers and strengthen oratory skills. We will use video conferencing to connect teachers and Ford’s staff, including an online meeting space to keep conversations active and collaborative.

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.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are closing applications for the 2020-21 school year and will not be accepting new fellows into the program. If you have already applied to the program for the 20-21 program year, your application will be kept on file and considered for the 2021-22 program year. Please contact with any questions.

“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.