Telling the story of Texas and Texans in the Great War to school students is a top priority for the World War I Centennial. Veterans Day 2017 is the perfect opportunity to make the connection. Our fall 2017 outreach initiative goal it to partnering with at least 100 schools as part of scheduled Veterans Day programs to creating a focus on 100th anniversary of WWI; 100 Years / 100 Schools.
“The 2017 Veterans Day outreach is a unique opportunity to open a partnership with local schools,” said Mike Visconage, a founding Director of the Texas WWI Centennial Commemoration (TXWWICC) initiative. “Connecting this year creates an opportunity to continue the WWI Centennial commemoration in 2018 and 2019.”
Because Veterans Day will fall on a Saturday this year, many schools that typically have a Veterans Day recognition will do so on November 10 this year, Visconage added.
To help reach our 100 Years / 100 Schools goal, TXWWICC has partnered with the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) to assemble teaching aids and to help contact educators. The TXWWICC is a voluntary effort and part of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission effort. The WWI Centennial relies on individual schools, teachers, and Texans to connect with students in their community.
Be part of the 100 Years / 100 Schools Veterans Day initiative by using these steps and suggestions:
- Access the WWI Veterans Day Resource Center. With the help of THC and TSHA we have assembled instructional materials, videos and images that are ready to use on our Google Drives site at TXWWICC Veterans Day 2017. The material include ready-made presentations suitable for student assemblies, classroom activities, and other Veterans Day commemorations. TSHA has prepared an excellent teaching resource list.
- Tell us what you have planned. To track our 100 schools goal, register your school event with TSHA. Let us know what you have planned. Organizers will receive a Participant Recognition Packet when they do.
- Look for community partners. Veterans and civic organizations (the VFW, American Legion, and DAR are National partners), County Historical Commissions, and City/municipal officials are welcomed partners. The event can include local museums that may have WWI artifacts or exhibits. It can also be an opportunity for a school-municipality to publish an official WWI proclamation (TXWWICC has standard format ready to use on the WWI Veterans Day Resource Center shared drive).
- Make it official. Once you have established a school partnership and let us know about it, use the TXWWICC, THC and USWWICC WWI Centennial logos on any materials related to this initiative.
Schools that register for 100 Years / 100 Schools Veterans Day event with TSHA will receive a Participant Recognition Packet with publications and commemorative items mailed to them by THC. Schools that provide the registration information (short event summary, number of students attending, at least one photo of your Veterans Day activity, etc.) will also be entered in a raffle for an additional WWI Classroom Toolkit for their school. The winner will be announced November 30.
“Reaching 100 schools to mark the WWI Centennial means we’ve reached kids who may not even know about the significance of the Great War,” Visconage said. “Over 190,000 Texans served, 5,171 gave their lives, and the date we commemorate as Veterans Day is a result of the armistice on November 11, 1918.”