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From the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

  • Poetry Out Loud: This program is for high school students (9-12). Each student selects and recites poems from the Poetry Out Loud anthology. Winners compete on a local, regional, state and potentially national level. Iowa’s state champion receives $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for the national championship. The Iowa champion’s school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books and the first runner-up receives $100 plus $200 for his or her school.
  • National History Day: National History Day offers year-long academic programs that engage middle- and high-school students in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students enter their projects at local and state contests, with top students advancing to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. This year’s theme is “Breaking Barriers in History.” There are numerous scholarships offered at the state and national level.
  • Primary Source Sets: The State Historical Society of Iowa developed free and downloadable Primary Source Sets to help K-12 educators meet the new Iowa Core Content Anchor Standards for Social Studies. These Primary Source Sets address national and international history as well as Iowa-specific history. There are 60 sets and 1200+ primary sources in the collection, and educators can sort by standard, subject and time period.
  • Folk Arts in the Classroom: This is an exciting new teacher PD program being offered next year by the Iowa Arts Council. Folk Arts in the Classroom connects Iowa K-12 teachers, folk artists and cultural heritage organizations through continuing education and training. Iowa social studies and fine arts educators apply for the opportunity to learn how to integrate folk and traditional arts into Iowa classrooms. And, teachers can receive one continuing education credit through the Iowa State Education Association at no cost upon completion of the program.
  • Read Iowa History/Goldie’s History Kits: Structured lesson plans and physical kits for elementary educators to help them integrate primary sources into their classrooms. Our teachers who created the Primary Source Sets took one of the supporting questions from a set with the five or six accompanying primary sources and created a more structured, classroom module that educators can download for free and use directly with their students. The kits, which are being piloted this year through Grant Wood AEA, include the Read Iowa History lesson plans, as well as read aloud books, object photos and videos from our collection and Iowa specific-Think Like…cards. Looks for links soon at the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs website. 
  • Museum Visits: As we’ve offered for years, educators are always welcome to bring their students to the State Historical Museum of Iowa. These are self-guided visits with supplemental exhibit material provided by the museum to encourage young visitors to learn about Iowa history.

The 2020-21 NSLI for Youth application is now available!

Deadline: October 30, 2019 (4 PM U.S. Eastern Time)

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) is a program of the U.S. Department of State that provides merit-based scholarships for eligible U.S. high school students to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. Programs are available for Arabic, Indonesian, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian and Turkish. 

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program was launched in 2006 to promote critical language learning among American youth. The U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with American Councils for International Education, awards and administers merit-based scholarships to high school students for participation in immersion programs in locations where the eight NSLI-Y languages are spoken. NSLI-Y immerses participants in the cultural life of the host country, giving them invaluable formal and informal language practice and sparking a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. Previous language study is not required; language learners of all levels are encouraged to apply. 

For more information, please visit www.nsliforyouth.org. Posters can be requested at: http://www.nsliforyouth.org/educators/. If you have any questions, please contact nsliy@americancouncils.org.