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State Bicentennial Commission to hold workshop

The Alabama Bicentennial Commission started its 2018 Bicentennial Summer Institutes in Selma on Monday, June 25. The Selma workshops focus on the story of Alabama, civil rights and the idea of storytelling.

The facilitators for the workshop are master teacher Sylvia Cook, content specialist Dr. Valerie Pope Burnes and partner teacher Annette Scott.

Cook said after going through one of the workshops in 2017, she was then chosen as a facilitator.

“I was chosen to represent Perry County and the State of Alabama by the Bicentennial Commission,” she said. “After that, I was chosen to do a three-year summer workshop with teachers from across the state of Alabama.”

A total of 30 educators are completing the four-day workshop in Selma, however, there are over 360 educators statewide that will be participating in workshops throughout the state.

“Once they signed up for the workshop, they received an email letting them know what workshop they will attend,” Cook said.

She said the workshops are social studies based and are a great way for educators to learn more about Alabama, and teach more in depth history lessons.

“They’re engaged in lessons they can take back to their classrooms,” she said. “[I want them] to be able to share that with their students, but not only with their students, but with their colleagues and with the community,” she said.

The group of educators took field trips to Marion, the National Voting Rights Museum, and Old Cahawba, Lincoln Normal School and the Selma Interpretive Center.

“Yesterday, we visited Marion and Lincoln Normal School, which is a historical site in Marion, Alabama,” she said. “We also visited the historical marker of Jimmie Lee Jackson. Yesterday was all about field trips and we got to visit the first state capital at Old Cahawba.”

Historian and professor John Kvach led the discussion at the Selma Interpretive Center on Wednesday, June 27. He spoke to the group about the importance of oral history. Cook said the knowledge provided by both Kvach as well as the workshop are imperative in the success for the future generation.

“[I want the teachers to take away] the knowledge of Alabama, knowing your history, [and] knowing what’s in your community because there is history in your community,” Cook said.