Free Teacher Seminar Onsite at James Madison’s Montpelier for Maine Educators

Free Teacher Seminar Onsite at James Madison’s Montpelier for Maine Educators

Scholarships available for Maine teachers, giving them the opportunity to deepen First Amendment knowledge, train in Virginia, share back with Maine students and community 

(Augusta Me., January 6, 2023) — The First Amendment Museum is looking for Maine teachers to travel to James Madison’s Montpelier and attend teacher training seminars centered around the First Amendment. Full scholarships are currently available to teachers working in Maine. 

In 2022, the First Amendment Museum partnered with James Madison’s Montpelier in an Institute for Museum and Library Services, Museums for America grant to develop non-partisan programming that encourages a better understanding of the First Amendment. 

Over a three-year cycle, the two museums will develop programming that inspires and empowers Americans to become more active, better informed and engaged citizens. 

The grant funding enables the two institutions to:

  • facilitate four two-day training seminars in Virginia for 100 teachers nationwide, including at least eight teachers from Maine; 
  • develop and implement workshops for 250 Maine students that will help students connect civics with their local history; and
  • host community workshops in Maine that encourage participants to delve deeper into understanding how civic change occurred throughout their local history. 

Christian Cotz, chief executive officer of the First Amendment Museum since 2020, previously served as the director of visitor engagement at James Madison’s Montpelier. “As a past developer and participant in Montpelier’s onsite trainings, I know firsthand the level of excellence the staff brings to their work, as well as how meaningful participants find the experience,” Cotz said. “The collaboration between my talented colleagues here at the First Amendment Museum and the team at Montpelier will yield phenomenal results. My hope is that many of Maine’s social studies, history and civics teachers will take advantage of this exciting continuing education opportunity.” 

The first of the four teacher seminars is scheduled for March 31 – April 2, 2023, and is focused specifically on the First Amendment.  The three seminars that follow are set to happen between fall 2023 and early 2024.  

The program includes meals, lodging, travel reimbursement, textbooks and resources, and continuing education credits available through James Madison University. 

Teachers can apply at www.montpelier.org/events/seminar_firstamendmentschool. There is an $85 nonrefundable registration fee per seminar, which should be paid within 15 days of acceptance. 

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