Benno C. Schmidt, President
Dr. John Dow, Jr., Superintendent
New Haven Public Schools
Dr. Pamela Glenn Menke, Director
Division of Education Programs
National Endowment for the Humanities
Thomas Gregory Ward, Program officer
Elementary and Secondary Schools Program
National Endowment for the Humanities
Biagio DiLieto, Mayor
City of New Haven
Eight years ago the announcement of a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Yale-New Haven Teachers institute provided the occasion, the first ever in anyone's memory, for the President of Yale, the Mayor of New Haven, and the Superintendent of the New Haven Public Schools jointly to hold a news conference.
As the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute begins its tenth year in operation, I am grateful that the National. Endowment for the Humanities provides today this occasion for President Benno C. Schmidt to hold his first news conference together with Mayor Biagio DiLieto and Superintendent John Dow.
Unfortunately the flight this morning from Washington for the representatives from the National Endowment for the Humanities was canceled. We believe that they are on another flight and due to arrive before the conclusion of the news conference. We will go ahead and begin without them, in hopes that they will be here shortly. We do have the formal announcement of the grant in hand, so I think I can safely tell you what the grant will. enable us to do. Members of the press, in fact, have in the press kits that have been prepared a description of our proposal.
The period of the grant is from this coming January through December 1989. The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $245,000 in outright funds and will provide another $100,000, if we raise gifts in that amount for them to match. Yale will contribute more than $400,000 to the project during the threeyear period. New Haven and other donors will provide almost $200,000, so that the total cost of our program in the humanities during the coming three years is about $966,000.
This grant will enable us, in each of the next three years, to offer five seminars in the humanities that respond to the two Endowmentwide initiatives announced in October 1985 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of NEH. At that time the Endowment called upon schools and colleges to join in an effort to provide an increased understanding of American history and culture and an understanding of other nations through their language and literature. Included in the press kits is a list of the Yale faculty members in the humanities and the seminars that they have proposed to offer during the next three years. Fifty New Haven public school teachers in the humanities will participate in these seminars in each year.
Our proposal summarizes the results of our program to date which have shown that it has further prepared teachers in the subjects they teach, assisted them to develop new materials for classroom use, heightened their expectations of their students' ability to learn, and thereby improved the academic rigor of basic school courses in the humanities. Without summarizing further the results of the studies, I would refer you to the fact that they are in the press kits.
The proposal also describes the role of the National Advisory Committee for our program in advising and assisting us in how we might contribute most effectively to universities and schools in other communities that-. have an interest in establishing similar programs. We will during the three years of the NEH grant announced today be holding national conferences for others working in school-college collaboration. Finally, the proposalstates our belief that our program should become a permanent link between the University and the New Haven Public Schools, and it details how the three-year support that the National Endowment for the Humanities is providing will assist us in conducting an endowment campaign to insure the Institute's future.
Individuals involved in school-college collaboration across the country, and studies on collaborative programs, stress that such programs depend on the support of the president of the institution involved in the partnership. I am therefore especially grateful that President Benno C. Schmidt is with us today. Mr. Schmidt:
I think of all the organizations from outside this community that have supported the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, none has been more generous both in their public statements and in financial commitment than the National Endowment for the Humanities. With the grant that Dr. Menke announces today, the NEH has extended its support for the Institute to a total, since 1978, of more than $1 million. This support has been indispensable to our successful development, and is critically important to Our continuation and to our prospects for permanencyprospects which I will support with all the enthusiasm, and I hope some success, in the effort to lay a permanent foundation for this excellent program.
We are a nationally influential program for school-college collaboration, and so with the Endowment's help this work and this national influence will continue.
A program like this cannot succeed without many active, supportive partners, and a number of persons have contributed splendidly to the effort which now the Endowment has decided to fund so generously.
I want to thank in particular our distinguished Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John Dow, Jr., and the New Haven Board of Education who have been our extremely effective, responsive, and helpful partner in this joint program since its inception, and who in the proposal for the current grant significantly increased their commitment.
Of course, I thank especially New Haven's outstanding Mayor, Ben DiLieto, who has been instrumental in the continuation of the program. I have come to learn that the Mayor of New Haven is a wise and learned man, and I think there is no one in New Haven who is more devoted to excellence in education at all levels in this communityand in the private institutions of this community as well as in the public schoolsand our opportunities to work with him toward educational excellence are always most rewarding.
I want to thank as well the many New Haven Public School administratorssubject supervisors, department chairs, principals, and otherswho have been so helpful in the operation of the Institute.
Members of the New Haven business community have supported the Institute because they understand thatthey are enlighted and public spiritedand they understand that strengthened public school education contributes in so many ways to the economic and cultural development of this community, and to all of our well being.
Finally, I want to thank the teachers who have made this program work, the New Haven Federation of Teachers, and its President whose support has been notable, and our own Yale faculty members who have led Institute seminars and given talks in this program in past years. Under the present grant., a number of our most distinguished faculty members will offer fifteen seminars in American history, literature, and culture, and in understanding foreign cultures through their language and literature. These themes in the upcoming seminars respond to the current initiatives of the Endowment. So I thank our Yale faculty members who participate in this program and those who serve on the University Advisory Council on the program.
But most of all, I salute the public school teachers who by their leadership and participation have made this Institute so successful here in New Haven and so widely acclaimed as a model all across the country. Teacher leadership and participation is a hallmark of this program, and the program's success reflects the dedicated work of so many New Haven teachers, some of whom are present today. More than two-hundred teachers have taken part in the Institute, many more than once, and with the present grant fifty teachers in the humanities will participate, either for the first time or again, in each of the next three years.
I am grateful to the National Advisory Committee for the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, which is composed of some of the nation's leading educators and philanthropists in education. Their wisdom on educational reform in this country has been exceedingly valuable to us in advising and assisting this Institute.
The breadth and the depth of collaboration among all these individuals from New Haven and from across the country is a measure of the tremendous value of the Teachers Institute to Yale, to the teachers and students in our community's schools, to New Haven generally, and to the future of school-college collaboration all across the country.
I thank the National Endowment for the Humanities for contributing so significantly to the continuation of our great work together. Thank you very much.
First of all, I would like to express my appreciation to Jim Vivian for his leadership with respect to the Institute. Obviously we are very excited about this recent grant, in that I think it gives stability to an outstanding program, and certainly our teachers and our students will be better off because of this stability. Certainly we are very excited.
I think this Institute is a model for the nation, and certainly in New Haven, where you have a university with the stature of Yale, recognized as one of the finest institutions in the world, that we would have an opportunity for our teachers to participate with such outstanding faculty. Ultimately the relationships that are developed and acquired by our teacher cannot be measured.
I believe that the improvement of our school system can directly be related to the kind of involvement that we have here and with other institutions. Frank Carrano and his leadership have certainly provided, I believe, an environment to assist us in this particular program. I think that, contrary to what many people might feel, we have demonstrated through this Institute and others that urban education, urban public school education, can he an outstanding venture. I believe that the leadership we have demonstrated here in New Haven certainly can be a model for the entire nation.
We are very excited about this grant, and it is in concert with the State's initiatives in recognizing the fact that we must make a total commitment to our teachers, not only in improving salaries, but also in quality intervention with respect to their being able to improve their professionalism and competencies.
I want to give my personal appreciation to the Mayor for being here today and providing leadership and support to this particular collaborative. Certainly, it is very important that the administration provide that kind of support in order for this to be a successful program. We are very pleased about it, and we look forward to a successful participation in future years.
In introducing the representatives from the National Endowment for the Humanities, I want to point out that long before the current, widespread interest in school-college collaboration, the National Endowment for the Humanities was promoting collaboration between university faculty members and school teachers in the humanities. The Endowment has been in the forefront of this national movement for teachers from universities and schools to work together in strengthening the teaching of academic subjects in schools.
Dr. Pamela Glenn Menke came to the Endowment from Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire, where she was professor of humanities, provost, and dean of faculty. She is Director of the Division of Education Programs at NEH. are delighted to welcome her to New Haven, and regret her travel problems.
Yale University and the New Haven schools have demonstrated that excellence. They have demonstrated that the humanities can be the basis for civic relations and that the distinguished scholars of the humanities are part of a tradition of public service. over the past eight years with support from the Endowment, the project's vision has strengthened for all of us and for the teachers, schools, and colleges who have admired and emulated the project, an appreciation of the force, vitality, and the central practicality of the humanities. Over the next three years I hope that the project will have an even more widespread influence and that the project will achieve its important goal of sustaining its work with the support of the businesses in the greater New Haven community.
Without strong schools there can be no strong universities. Schools, colleges, and universities are partners in the enterprises of preparing children, youth, and adults to become the informed citizens who shape our nation. Yale University and the New Haven Public Schools through the Institute have the academic intensity and dedication of purpose which bring teachers and scholars together to form an intellectual composition of a common heritage.
President Schmidt, Mayor DiLieto, Superintendent Dow, Mr. Vivian, distinguished project faculty, if some of you are here, and participating teachers and teacher coordinators, if some of you are here, the Endowment congratulates you on your very fine past successes, and looks forward with eagerness to the achievement the next three years will bring.
One other thing that I would add: in our work at the Endowment we focus on trying to work with teachers of elementary and secondary schools, and to help them expand and enhance their understanding of the humanities, because we feel that at the core of elementary and secondary schools is at that very core the teacher. It is what the teacher does in the classroom with the student that really makes a difference in education, and that is why we give so much effort to teacher training and teacher development activities.
It is a pleasure to be here this morning. Thank you, Jim.
I am delighted to be here this morning. I am delighted principally because of the fact that the National Endowment for the Humanities has seen fit to make this grant, because it is more significant than simply a sum of money that is being granted to Yale and to the City of New Haven. It bespeaks a judgment on their part that the program in question is one that is highly meritorious and I think that vindicates our judgment in having established the program here in the City of New Haven.
I wish that I could claim credit for having established the program. Actually, it predated my mayoralty, but it is a program that I have supported consistently because I recognize how important the education of our children is, and I also recognize that our teachers ought to be given every opportunity to teach our children in the most effective way. And, of course, this teachers Institute enables them to receive opportunities they might not have otherwise, that is, opportunities to broaden their exposure to the humanities and to the social sciences and so forth, and to develop curriculum that will be used to good effect in our school system.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jim Vivian for the wonderful job that he has done, and it goes without saying that Dr. Dow has done an exceptional job with our public school system here in the City of New Haven. I laud him constantly wherever I go, principally because I am deeply impressed with the wonderful work that lie has done. Given time the city of New Haven can look with pride on the quality of education being provided in our public schools. It goes without saying that I am deeply grateful to those representatives from the National Endowment for the Humanities for granting us this large sum of money which will enable us to continue the program.
Of course, with regard to President SchmidtI was present at his inauguraland I must say that I was deeply impressed with the marvelous address that he delivered. But the thing that stands out mostly in my mind was the comment that he made with regard to his being a citizen of New Haven, and I am sure that he was not simply sparing for himself but for the entire University family when he said that. I look forward to a continuing good relationship with Yale University and all. that it has to offer, and I in turn pledge to President Schmidt that I will continue to support Yale University in the future as I have in the past. Thank you.
Are there other questions?
Are there other questions from reporters before I open the floor to questions from others?
So, I thank the NEH for this particular aspect of the grant, for their magnificent support in past years, and for all that the grant will enable us to do during the next three years. And I thank them for coming, and all the others who spoke, and all of you for coming. Thank you very much.
Thank you all for coming.