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Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument receives grant to expand educational programs

Despite being shuttered during the pandemic, folks can still help the Birmingham Civil Rights...
Despite being shuttered during the pandemic, folks can still help the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute meet their 2020 fundraising goal.({Source: WBRC})
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:24 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Local students will have more access to educational programs at the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, thanks to a new grant from the National Park Foundation.

The $20,000 grant will help 1,500 local students have better access to the park, including covering costs of transportation, instructional materials for classrooms and adding staff to lead programs.

The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument is launching new educational programming, and this grant will help.

“This is an opportunity to bring students from Birmingham and let them know they have a local national park in their back yard to be and experience where history happened,” says Tracey Ritchie, the Vice President of Education for National Park Foundation.

The grant is part of the “Open OutDoors for Kids” program and works in conjunction with national park program that gives 4th graders free access to parks across the country.

“Youth were part of the civil rights movement, these students can think about children around their age being part of this movement, active civic engagement. Telling students in 4th grade that they have power in their community and a voice well before their voting age, I just think that activating that civic engagement inspires students in so many different ways,” says Ritchie.

The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument is affiliated with 7 locations that played instrumental roles in the civil rights movement.

· A.G. Gaston Motel

· Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

· Kelly Ingram Park

· The Masonic Temple Building

· 16th St. Baptist Church

· St. Paul United Methodist Church

· The Historic Bethel Baptist Church

All the locations as well as the city of Birmingham have partnered to make this grant a reality, taking lessons of civil rights beyond the classroom.

“Being able to tell these stories in these places, is critical to provide that optimism and that inspiration that so many of things are possible and that these students have a voice, they can use their voice and be active members of their community,” says Ritchie.

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