Sprayberry High School Becomes First Gilder-Lehrman Institute Affiliate School in Georgia

Sprayberry High School has been named the first Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History affiliate high school in Georgia. Founded in 1994, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute promotes the study and love of American history among teachers, students, and scholars around the country. Through this affiliation, Sprayberry students will enter the annual Civil War Essay Contest, participate in National History Day competitions, develop history clubs at the school and participate in other special programs sponsored by the Institute and the high school. Only 27 other high schools in the nation have become Gilder-Lehrman affiliates.

Principal Erin Barnett said, “This is a prestigious connection. The Institute is well known throughout historical and collegiate communities around the country as providing an unprecedented wealth of resources for students and teachers alike.

As part of the affiliate program, Sprayberry becomes eligible for the creation of a Saturday Academy program. This intense one semester, eight-week program will allow the school to host a variety of classes in specific strains of American history that normally would not be covered in a traditional American history class. “A Saturday history academy at the secondary level is unprecedented in Cobb County and in Georgia,” said Mrs. Barnett. “The classes will enhance the U.S. History curriculum by exposing students to an intensity of study that could not be offered during the school day, while strengthening the areas of critical thinking, writing and debate.”

Local content experts, university professors and local teachers will be tapped to assist with the development and delivery of these specialty courses. Mrs. Barnett said, “The Saturday Academy will be opened to all Cobb County high school students on a first-come, first-served basis.”

Thanks to financial endowments from local businesses and individuals, Sprayberry is on track to open its Saturday Academy in September 2009. For more information about Sprayberry High School, visit http://www.cobbk12.org/~sprayberry. For more information about the Gilder-Lerhman Institute, visit http://www.gilderlehrman.org.