February 2022

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Header: OK Social Studies

February 2022

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Candy

February is the month of love and showing kindness to friends and family. Please remember to love yourself and take time to do something that makes you happy. It is important for you to take time to care for yourself as you are serving others. Maybe it is ok to eat that piece of chocolate!

United States Senate Youth Program

Two Oklahoma high school seniors have been named state delegates to the 60th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP), which brings together outstanding student leaders from every state.

Jonathan Menzel from Inola High School in Inola and Aishwarya Swamidurai from Classen School of Advanced Studies at Northeast in Oklahoma City will join 102 other delegates from around the country March 6-9 for a highly interactive, virtual education and leadership forum.


“Jonathan and Aishwarya are bold leaders in their schools and provide encouragement and inspiration to their fellow students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “Their remarkable contributions are also evident in the positive impact they’ve had on their communities. I am pleased they will be representing Oklahoma in the prestigious U.S. Senate Youth Program.”

Menzel serves as student body president, member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Teen Board and member of the Oklahoma State Superintendent's Student Advisory Council. He has received the Oklahoma State Superintendent's Award for Arts Excellence, leads the baritone section of his school choir and has been accepted in several all-state choirs and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.


Aishwarya Swamidurai serves as the president of her senior class. She also serves as the youth governor for the Oklahoma YMCA Youth and Government, is an at-large representative on Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt's Youth Council, organized a school-wide voter registration drive and has helped organize a breast cancer fundraiser.

William Clifton Loughridge from Edmond Memorial High School and Raven Elizabeth Simone Owens from Edmond Santa Fe High School were chosen as alternates.

During the forum, Menzel and Swamidurai will attend online meetings and briefings with U.S. Senators, the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court and leaders of cabinet agencies. Both students were chosen by Hofmeister after a rigorous application process that adhered to high standards set by the USSYP.

The USSYP has been sponsored by the U.S. Senate and fully funded by the Hearst Foundation since its inception in 1962. The goal of USSYP is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but people around the world.”

Menzel and Swamidurai will also receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue their studies in government, history and public affairs.

Black History Month

February is Black History Month and Black history and culture is American history and culture. It is more important than ever to explore these stories. Here are resources:

President's Day Teacher Resources

Presidents' Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February; Presidents'  Day 2022 will occur on Monday, February 21. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of  President George Washington, the holiday became popularly known as Presidents' Day after  it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday  Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for  the nation’s workers. While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents' Day is now  popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents,  past and present. Below are resources to help you teach about President’s Day:

Advanced Placement Summer Institutes

Northeastern State University (Broken Arrow campus) - click here for information & registration

Week One - June 13-16 - IN PERSON - subjects include: AP US History and AP World History Modern
Week Two - June 20-23 - IN PERSON - subjects include: AP Psychology and AP US Government & Politics
Week Three - July 18-21 - ONLINE - subjects include: AP Human Geography and AP World History Modern
Week Four - July 25-28 - ONLINE - subjects include: AP Psychology, AP US Government & Politics, and AP US History

University of Oklahoma (Norman campus) - information is expected to be posted by mid-February. 

2022 Online National Council for History Education Conference

NCHE conference logo

2022 National Council of History Education Online Conference - Historical Communities of Promise and Practice

March 17-20, 2022

Join NCHE online for four days of history education: OKCHE members receive a discounted rate!

Register for the Conference here 

Check out all of the Virtual Field Trips, Keynote Speakers, Breakouts, History Trivia Night and Poster Sessions

Preliminary Program -  http://www.ncheteach.org/conference

For more information or questions please reach out to OKCHE President, Dalton Savage at okchepresident@gmail.com.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Presents A History of Black Banks Webinar

Tune in for this event, presented by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022Times: 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. MT | 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. CTLocation: VirtualIn A Great Moral and Social Force: A History of Black Banks, writer Timothy Todd of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City discusses the emergence of African American financial institutions and how they fostered economic independence and wealth-building within African American communities during Reconstruction and beyond.In a discussion moderated by Michael Fletcher, of ESPN’s Undefeated, Mr. Todd will provide the social and historic contexts for the establishment of black bank ownership by focusing on their emergence in the cities of Richmond, Virginia; Boley, Oklahoma; Chicago, Illinois; Memphis, Tennessee; and Detroit, Michigan. Download a digital copy of the book.

There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is recommended. 

Click here to register and view additional information.


Teaching American History Seminar

Lincoln: Philosopher and Statesman - March 26, 2022

Abraham Lincoln came of age during the turbulent Jacksonian period and observed            firsthand the danger sectionalism posed to the Union. The Nullification Crisis, the                issue of the extension of slavery into the territories, and the waning political power              of the South all led to a series of crises threatening the Union. In the 1850s, Lincoln              sought to return the country to the principles of the Founding Generation by which              he hoped to save the Union. After his election as president, he attempted to                            reconcile the South and avoid civil war. This seminar will explore Lincoln’s position            as a philosopher and statesman in the handling of these issues.

This program will be conducted as a Socratic discussion, utilizing primary source                documents (found here) as the only readings, and with the Discussion Leader                      facilitating the conversation, instead of lecturing or presenting. Registrants,                          therefore, are highly encouraged to read all the documents in advance and come                  ready with questions. All attendees will receive a Letter of Attendance at the end of              the seminar. Click here to register.

2022 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Conference


JUNE 27-29, 2022


Please click this link for more information and to register for this fantastic program.

For more information, please contact Chelsea Halling-Nye at challing@ushmm.org or belferconference@ushmm.org.

James Madison Fellowship Program

Social Studies Teachers - Consider applying for this $24,000 fellowship.

The 2022 James Madison Fellowship Program is now open and accepting applications. The application is available online at jamesmadison.gov. Please note the deadline to apply is March 1, 2022.

Please contact madison@scholarshipamerica.org with any questions or the Fellowship Support Center Monday-Friday 8:00 - 4:30 CT  800-525-6928.

Oklahoma Council for the Social Studies Membership

OCSS is asking everyone to fill out an updated membership form - even if you have been a member for many years. OCSS is trying to update member information as many people have moved schools. Membership is free! Update membership here.