Being an American Teacher Seminars
The JFI and BRI's "Being an American" teacher seminars will provide the knowledge and teaching strategies they need to educate our nations youth.
About Your Organization
Joe Foss Institute
United States, AZ, Scottsdale
Country where this project is creating social impact
United States, XX, Texas, Arizona, Montana
Is your organization a
Non‐profit / NGO / Citizen sector organization
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Start-Up (a pilot that has just begun operating)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
The last National Assessment of Educational Progress found that less than one-third of American fourth, eighth and twelfth grade students are proficient in civics. There is a critical and urgent need to educate teachers about the Founding Documents. According to the Department of Education, less than 20% of History teachers have obtained even a minor in History.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
A recent Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) study reports that an essential component of improving civic learning among students is to more adequately prepare teachers on civic-related subjects. The Joe Foss Institute and Bill of Rights Institute’s Being an American Seminar will provide teachers with the background knowledge and classroom-tested teaching strategies they need to prepare young people to protect Founding principles.
We propose to conduct the Being an American Seminars nationwide, with the first three being scheduled in Arizona, Montana and Texas, to increase area students’ understanding and embrace of the Constitution.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Utilizing the JFI’s and BRI’s Being an American: Defending and Appreciating Freedom curricula, a distinguished constitutional scholar and one Master Teacher will lead participating teachers (approximately 40 per seminar) through a series of scholarly lectures and pedagogical instruction. The three Being an American Seminars currently scheduled will reach approximately 120 teachers, giving them with the tools they need to better prepare their approximately 9,600 students to protect Founding principles. The preliminary seminar schedule is as follows:
7:30 – 8:00 Breakfast & Registration
8:00 – 8:15 Introduction to the Bill of Rights Institute and Joe Foss Institute
8:15 – 8:45 Video: The Constitution
8:45 – 8:55 Break
8:55 – 9:40 Presentation: “The Constitution: Some General Principles” (Scholar)
9:40 – 9:45 Break
9:45 – 10:30 Application: What does the Constitution require of citizens? (BRI/JFI)
10:30 – 11:15 Presentation: “Securing Liberty: The Bill of Rights” (Scholar)
11:15 – 12:00 Lunch
12:00 – 12:45 Application: American Heroes (BRI/JFI)
12:45 – 12:50 Break
12:50 – 1:35 Presentation: “The Founders and Civic Virtue” (Scholar)
1:35 – 1:40 Break
1:40 – 2:20 Presentation: VIP Founding Documents Module (JFI) and strategies for incorporating guest speakers (JFI/BRI)
2:20 – 2:30 Appreciating our freedom – opportunities for student involvement (JFI/BRI)
While the seminar will be offered at no charge to teachers, there are costs associated with each seminar, such as space rental, travel for JFI and BRI staff and scholars, and catering.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Joe Foss Institute and the Bill of Rights Institute have partnered on various other projects since our programs compliment each other.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
JFI and the BRI have partnered to design “Being an American,” a teacher seminar based on the Founding Documents and citizenship.
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
JFI and the BRI's Being an American Seminar will provide teachers with the knowledge and teaching strategies they need.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
JFI's veteran volunteer staff consists of 350+ dedicated individuals throughout the United States, who provide our Veterans Inspiring Patriotism program at no cost to interested schools, which has now reached over 900,000 students; in 2011 we reached over 140,000 students. Through its teacher programs the Institute has made positive knowledge impact on over 18,500 teachers. Through its work the Bill of Rights Institute provides a better understanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights to more than 2 million students.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
According to the Bill of Rights Institute’s calculations and experience, by reaching 400 teachers, we have the potential to reach over 32,000 students in the first year.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Both institute's are funded by donations and grants, fundraisers are planned to help raise money for our programs.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Four seminars have been held with 40 teachers attending each.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Program dates are finalized.
Teacher registrations is completed.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
400 teachers attend the seminar.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Twelve seminars are scheduled.
Program dates are finalized.
Teacher attendance for 12 seminars totals 400.
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
The Joe Foss Institute (recognized by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization) was founded in 2001 by Medal of Honor Recipient, General Joe Foss, together with his wife, Didi. Though Joe passed away in 2003, the Institute—under the guidance of Didi and its Distinguished Board—is working hard to teach patriotism, democracy, public service, integrity, and an appreciation for America’s freedoms to children in schools and classrooms throughout the country. The Institute does NOT promote any political, religious or military organization or agenda.
Tell us about your partnerships
JFI is currently working with the Bill of Rights Institute and the Boy Scouts on various projects.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
Joe Foss Institute and the Bill of Rights Institute have partnered to design “Being an American: Defending and Appreciating Freedom,” a teacher seminar based on the Founding Documents and citizenship that includes the VIP program and shows teachers how to incorporate JFI’s VIP program into their curriculum. Our veteran volunteer staff consists of 350+ dedicated individuals throughout the United States.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
JFI does a lot of media pushes, but word of mouth is very useful for recruiting our Veteran volunteers and getting the word out about our programs.