BOSTON, July 26, 2018 — FableVision Studios, in collaboration with Maryland Public Television (MPT), Maryland Humanities, and The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life, is proud to announce their award of a Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Regional Grant from the Library of Congress. This $450,000, two-year grant will fund the development of Civics: An American Musical, an online and mobile civics game designed to effectively and creatively engage middle school students using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s renowned musical Hamilton, Civics: An American Musical will consist of a web-based role playing game, hands-on classroom projects, and professional development materials for teachers.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with leading institutions like MPT, CIRCLE from Tufts University, Maryland Humanities, and the Library of Congress to showcase some of our nation’s most important primary sources,” says FableVision President and Co-Founder Gary Goldberger, who made the announcement. “Our strategy is to engage kids using a familiar concept, a cultural musical phenomenon that captures their imaginations – and create a scaffolded onramp to make history relevant to their everyday lives.”
The Teaching with Primary Sources program at the Library of Congress is a powerful way to help students ask engaged, probing questions, develop critical-thinking skills, construct knowledge and inspire original research. The educational outreach program for teachers provides professional-development opportunities that focus on enhancing their ability to embed digitized primary sources from the Library of Congress into inquiry-based instruction to build student literacy, critical thinking skills, and content knowledge.
“This approach encourages kids to research and analyze primary sources as they imagine, formulate, and debut their own ‘Great American Musical,’” adds Leigh Hallisey, creative director at FableVision. “Ultimately, we want to take advantage of the invaluable vault of historical artifacts in the Library of Congress to create something that still feels personally relevant to this demographic.”
Civics: An American Musical will launch in 2020 and be pre-populated with project themes, curated digital sources from the Library of Congress, and tools to organize and analyze artifacts like documents, photos, posters, and more. The game will be created as an open source platform to allow teachers to create their own stories and digital artifacts to customize the game for a wide range of subjects and students.
“Working on Civics: An American Musical will be a great opportunity to support both students and teachers in meaningful ways as they pair the inquiry process of learning with a creative sense of playfulness and curiosity,” shares Betsy Peisach, MPT vice president, education. “MPT is excited to continue its partnership with FableVision and expand our organization’s reach into the educational community through creative media.”
“FableVision Studios has a strong history of creating online learning experiences, and CIRCLE is eager to use our content expertise to bring civic learning that’s both engaging and based on deep content to students through Civics: An American Musical. Primary sources are invaluable educational resources, and we’re looking forward to creating an innovative tool that will expose students to deep civic learning and engagement,” says Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of CIRCLE.
Through the Library of Congress TPS program, hundreds of organizations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia have enhanced their programming for educators.
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About FableVision Studios:
FableVision Studios creates award-winning games, animated films, museum kiosks, websites, and apps. Our media, storytelling, and technology solutions allows us to collaborate with publishers, broadcasters, museums, research groups, foundations, and educational institutions. FableVision is dedicated to helping all learners reach their full potential and to telling "stories that matter, stories that move." www.fablevisionstudios.com
About Maryland Public Television:
Maryland Public Television (MPT) is a nonprofit, state-licensed public television network and member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). MPT’s six transmitters cover Maryland plus portions of contiguous states and the District of Columbia. Beyond broadcast, MPT’s commitment to educators, child care providers, and learners of all ages is delivered through trainings and online at Thinkport, MPT’s education website. For more information, visit mpt.org.
CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, focuses on young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life. CIRCLE’s scholarly research informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and a better democracy. It is part of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. www.civicyouth.org
About Maryland Humanities:
An educational nonprofit organization reaching more than one million people, Maryland Humanities creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities. Nearly 40,000 students and 1,000 educators are served annually with free humanities programs and professional development opportunities. www.mdhumanities.org
About Library of Congress:
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
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For more information please contact Sarah Ditkoff, Communications Director at FableVision Studios, at firstname.lastname@example.org.