By Robert Miller
Published: 16 December 2013
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The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and Parish Episcopal School have announced a comprehensive educational partnership that will allow Parish students and educators access to archives from the eight years of the Bush presidency.
Creating an educational model that will extend throughout North Texas, the Bush Library partnership will offer students educational programming, mentoring experiences and access to human and archival resource materials.
“We’re excited for this inaugural partnership opportunity with Parish, and as we build relationships with other public and private schools, we anticipate applying this model throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” said Alan Lowe, director of the library.
Working with Parish’s prekindergarten through 12th-grade students, the Bush Library will be able to test curricula and exhibits with a consistent set of bright and engaged young people.
“As part of the profile of a Parish student, we put an emphasis on students producing ‘real work for real audiences,’” said Dave Monaco, Allen Meyer Family head of school. “Partnering with the Bush Library not only gives our students access to a plethora of resources to produce that real work, but it provides them a showcase for that work.” He added that the library will get a source of student-led materials to reuse and implement in its educational and public programs.
The partnership will focus on four main components: educational programming, mentoring and service, Parish’s Academy of Global Studies, and using Parish as a satellite location for programs.
Nearly 40 students participate in Parish’s Academy of Global Studies. They do a research project on a global topic of their choice and present their findings in a capstone project their senior year. In addition, they perform globally focused community service and attend educational presentations on global topics. This fall at the Bush Library, students participated in a Socratic seminar discussing terrorism in 1801 vs. 2001.
“By encouraging students to analyze and evaluate primary source records, they become active historians engaged in understanding the events and perspectives of the past rather than passive recipients of history as recounted by others,” said Heather Nice, educational specialist for the Bush Library.
Parish Upper School students will be able to use the Bush Library resources and staff as they complete 15 hours of community service per year. Juniors do service leadership projects that could potentially be conducted in collaboration with the library.
Some students will intern, some will volunteer and the library may become a site for some summer classes.
Parish seniors will do a one-week project in May where they will get professional experience while interacting with Bush Library staff members serving as mentors.
The library also plans to eventually develop a Bush Scholar program for an individual who would combine independent study coursework and service in a partnership with the library and museum.