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Collaboration leads to a Historic Journey

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The proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” proved more than a catchphrase with the creation of The Historic Journey, a standards-based K-12 curriculum that presents science, English, math and social studies lessons within a context of African and African-American history.

The special curriculum is the creative work of a unique collaboration from creator and publisher Garry D. Holland and a team of contributors, including Indianapolis Public Schools and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis faculty and staff.

The Historic Journey includes reading, writing and reflection activities that provide students with a broader, richer view of American history than what typical textbooks have offered. The entire curriculum is accessible online via an interactive website created by the IUPUI School of Informatics in partnership with Holland’s team.

After years spent developing the curriculum Holland approached the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at IUPUI requesting help in printing the material in book form.

Intrigued by the project, Wayne Hilson, director of Multicultural Academic Relations at IUPUI gathered a variety of university resources including the African-American Male Equity Project, the School of Education, the Africana Studies Department, The Solutions Center, and the Center for Urban and Multicultural Education, to contribute lessons, review content and produce a lesson plan template to ensure consistency. The university also provided an educator-on-loan to assist in the creation of the curriculum’s companion website.

IPS is the first school district in the state to infuse “The Historic Journey” into its curriculum, using the lessons and teaching resources offered to ensure the district meets the state’s cultural competency law.

Each of IPS’ 64 schools received one DVD and three hard copies of The Historic Journey. The DVDs were provided courtesy of William Mays, publisher of the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper and the Indiana Minority Business Magazine.

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