Teachers in four Southwest Colorado school districts will be getting a history lesson, courtesy of the U.S. Department
Ignacio School District has been awarded a three-year, $975,000 federal grant to offer professional development in
American history to teachers in Ignacio, Bayfield, Montrose and Grand Junction.
Ignacio schools will coordinate a series of summer institutes, field trips and fall workshops to improve teachers'
knowledge of American history and government.
We have a lot of pride in who we are in this community, and this grant will allow us to further discover our unique
qualities and multiethnic history, which goes back generations," Ignacio Superintendent Juvie Jones said in a news
release. Because of who we are as a community, our teachers will gain so much from this opportunity."
Durango School District 9-R was awarded a $535,018 Teaching American History grant in 2003.
This year, Ignacio was one of 123 districts selected from among 474 applicants. In Colorado, Ignacio is joined only by
the Centennial Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
We're just very happy and very proud and fortunate," said Maria Samora, the Ignacio School District official
coordinating the grant.
Teachers will travel to Denver next June on a history tour. Teachers also will study the San Juan and Colorado rivers,Samora said.
Ignacio School District will work with the University of Northern Colorado and the Southern Ute Tribal Museum to
incorporate local Native American, Latino and pioneer history into regular social studies curriculums.
Ignacio is home to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and substantial minority populations. The town's population during the
2000 Census was 22 percent Native American and 48.6 percent Hispanic or Latino.
As many as 25 teachers a year from the four districts will be invited to participate in the program, known locally as
the Four Corners Community History Project.
Ignacio School District is eligible to extend the project an additional two years if it meets certain performance