The Utah Civic Learning Collaborative (UCLC) is proud to feature the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, Utah Chapter in its debut spotlight of nonprofits offering meaningful professional development opportunities for Utah educators.
We spoke with Blanch Linton, retired educator and member of the FFVF Board...
UCLC: What is the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge?
Linton: At FFVF, a national organization with chapters in many states, including Utah ("Chapter of the Year in 2020") we “create and build an understanding of the spirit and philosophy of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
We motivate Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves, inspired by the wisdom and good will of founders who could disagree yet still join together in common cause. Here, thousands of students and teachers study not only what is expected of government, but also what is required of good citizens. They learn that the spirit and philosophy of America are entrusted to all, and come alive each time people vote, or volunteer, or solve problems together civilly and responsibly.
UCLC: That notion of coming together despite differences really resonates today. What does FFVF offer teachers?
BL: FFVF has been offering critically acclaimed summer courses for more than 50 years. Nearly 14,000 educators, librarians, resource and special education teachers from around the world have participated in our programs with nationally recognized scholars who provide engaging and interactive lectures. All programs are accredited through LaSalle University.
VALLEY FORGE SEMINARS
June 20-25: Medal of Honor Legacy: Vietnam
June 27-July 2: American Revolution – Philadelphia Campaign I – PROGRAM FULL
July 10-15: Civil Rights Movement: Heroes & Heroines
July 18-23 : American Revolution – Philadelphia Campaign II
July 25-30: The Presidency and Electoral Power
UCLC: With more teachers getting the Covid 19 vaccine, the idea of travelling for professional development is not so far-fetched--it's even appealing. How can teachers participate?
BL: Yes, and FFVF has strict Covid 19 protocols in place. Scholarships are available for every ACCEPTED teacher. Teachers can apply on their own through Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. If they apply through the Utah Chapter all of their expenses will be paid except for the tuition payment to get the graduate credit. The chapter pays the first $100.00 for one credit (but note that these scholarships are all distributed for 2021). The teachers can earn three credits but must pay for the last two.
UCLC: What are your hopes for the Utah Civic Learning Collaborative?
BL: The opportunities to promote civic learning across the state are dramatic indeed with so many talented people involved! I hope civic learning can become as important in a child’s education as the core subjects. It does not have to take away from the core subjects nor add to the burdens teachers feel. It needs to be added to the many good things that are happening in the classrooms.