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Lincoln Group Support of Ford's Theatre Teacher Programs, The Recap

By David J. Kent

Washington, D.C.

Friday, September 8, 2023



The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Civil War Washington Summer Teacher Institute 2023 participants and staff. Photo by Carolina Dulcey.


The Lincoln Group of DC is a strong supporter of Ford's Theatre. We established the John T. Elliff Scholarship Fund specifically to further Ford's educational programs, especially the summer teaching institute programs that provide teachers with the needed background and schools to reach their students. You can read more about (and contribute to) the Elliff Fund in this February 2023 post.


RuthAnn Clark, the Deputy Director of Development at Ford's Theatre, recently sent me a recap of this year's Summer Teacher Institute programs called "Civil War Washington," which ran July 9-14, 2023 and "Set in Stone: Civil War Memory, Monuments, and Myths," which ran July 23-28, 2023.


At Ford’s, we value providing high quality professional development opportunities to strengthen educators’ content knowledge and to introduce museum teaching strategies based in learning science. Our Summer Teacher Institutes make use of several longstanding partnerships with historic sites in and around D.C. to provide educators with experiences, knowledge and resources to teach about Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Civil War Washington and the intersection of memory and mythology in our contemporary understanding of the Civil War period.

We were thrilled to welcome 40 teachers from 30 states and Washington, D.C. to Ford’s Theatre this July for our two week-long Summer Teacher Institutes: The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Civil War Washington and Set in Stone: Civil War Memory, Monuments and Myths. These teachers will annually serve more than 3,200 students each year they teach, and the number of students reached increases every year they remain in the classroom.

During our time together, we delved into the complexities of the history and legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction; evoked empathy and made present-day connections through studying historic individuals who lived and worked in Washington D.C.; and considered what choices we can make today to participate in making history. We formed friendships and built lasting connections with fellow educators nationwide.

Please find the attached schedules for each Institute with details of the different sessions, places visited and experts that worked with our educators over the week they were with us. I’ve also included a group photo from the Civil War Washington week.




Because of support like that from the Lincoln Group's John T. Elliff Scholarship Fund, Ford's provides this program to teachers for free. The goal is to give them the knowledge and resources to educate their classrooms. The Lincoln Group is proud of our support and believe it is a fitting tribute to late LGDC President John Elliff, who dedicated so much of his time volunteering at Ford's.


To continue this Fund - we commit to $2,000 per year to Ford's - we need support from our members. Lincoln Group members (and friends) can donate to the fund (or make a general contribution to the Lincoln Group) by going to our Donate page and either clicking on the Donate button or sending a check to The Lincoln Group of DC, P.O. Box 5676, Washington, DC, 20016. You can also Click Here to go directly to the donation link. Please indicate if your contribution is for the John T. Elliff Fund, one of the other specific funds, or the general account.

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