The Second Founding of America Multicultural Learning Center
The Second Founding Youth Chorale
The Second Founding Youth Chorale will be a world-class assemblage of thirty or more middle and high school singers who will travel the state, region, and nation performing songs of freedom under the direction of experienced instructors to teach students how to write music, play instruments, dance, and perform while telling the untold stories of our nation's past. Backed by Era County Middle Schools with the support of the Era County School District and others with seed funding from SC Humanities.
The Second Founding Storytellers
The Second Founding Storytellers is a group of student storytellers and videographers, who will create mini-documentaries related to Reconstruction leaders, events, locations and stories to be distributed through educational channels. The group’s magnum opus will be a documentary including a full-length play on the life of Harriet Tubman, founder of the Underground Railroad, that was researched, written, costumed and performed by Era Middle School staff and students.
Explorers of Untold History
As an organization committed to Reconstruction Era education, The Second Founding of America is committed to programs that encourage citizens to explore the period. One of its programs is Explorers of Untold History. Through this program, high school students, adult researchers, and/or academic researchers are networked with local leaders and/or teachers (sponsors) to select a story connected to the Reconstruction Era, research the story, and creatively retell the story. The story may be based on a historical site, document(s) or artifacts, or oral traditions. Projects that meet the requirements of the National Historic Network will be considered for inclusion to the network.
STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP: Each participating high school will be permitted to submit one student project each year. The project will be judged by a Second Founding of America Selection Committee for a scholarship for $1,000.00. The winner will receive the scholarship and the opportunity to submit his/her project to the National Historic Network. All participants will receive recognition from the Reconstruction Era National Park and the opportunity to submit his/her project to the National Historic Network.
TEACHER RECOGNITION: Since the teacher sponsor will be required to monitor the project, work with the student to meet the requirements, meet regularly with the student to examine progress, and provide professional insight on the development of the progress, the sponsor of the winning project will receive a $500.00 cash award.
ADULT RESEARCHERS: Each year, an adult researcher will be recognized for her/his research project that meets the requirements of National Historic Network. All adult entries will be judged by a Second Founding of America Selection Committee, and the winning submission will receive a $1000.00 cash award.
The Visual Arts Project
The Visual Arts Project will offer exhibit space in the Reconstruction Learning Center that will be curated by a talented and experienced local artist. As artist-in-residence and manager this person will engage artists, art teachers and students to produce visual art depicting Reconstruction stories for display in the Center and at travelling shows that will follow the Chorus. The University of SC, Era Visual Arts Department, the Arts Council of Era County and the Era County Schools support the Arts Project.
Teaching Teachers to Teach Reconstruction History
Teaching Teachers to Teach Reconstruction History, is a collaboration with “Facing History and Ourselves” that provides extraordinarily researched, balanced, and inspiring guide for middle school teachers. They provide an excellent, flexible, easy to use program that integrates lesson plans, student exercises and materials for social studies and history classes. Include partners including Reconstruction, Era County Schools, Facing History and Ourselves, and others.
The Second Founding of America: Reconstruction Era is an almost all-volunteer organization, with hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars already donated toward the creation of the Learning Center and our four core programs. As these programs move into their implementation phase, we estimate the total funding needed at $1.5 million over three years.
As the programs gain momentum, many options for sustainability will be tested and evaluated. These include admissions for performances, as well as sales of art and merchandise such as recordings and T-shirts. Multiple book projects are also being explored.
Let’s get together and talk about the role that you can play in reuniting our nation and realizing the full promise of Emancipation, Reconstruction, and Civil Rights through a creative, courageous look at our past and a conscious focus on creating a better future.