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Impact Area
The NEH Promotes Civic Education

The National Endowment for the Humanities supports civic education for Americans of all ages and backgrounds, ensuring that the general public has the tools necessary for informed citizenship.

The NEH encourages civics education for K–12 students. National History Day, which encourages 6th–12th grade students to enter regional, state, and national project-based contests, reaches more than 600,000 students in 48 states per year. Summer professional development workshops for K–12 teachers provide teachers from every state the chance to delve deeply into humanities topics, including history and political philosophy, and bring that learning back to their students.

The NEH supports state and local historical societies in their mission to educate the public. The NEH has provided foundational funding for collection development, preservation, and civic education to organizations across the United States, ensuring that citizens have access to and are informed of their regional histories. As state and local historical societies are popular field trip destinations, this funding has an additional impact on K–12 education.

The NEH supports programs that encourage public dialogue on our common history and shared present. Public dialogues on topics of national concern, such as the incarceration system and immigration, provide Americans with opportunities to express their opinions, reflect, and learn from others with support from skilled moderators.

The NEH supports the exploration of historical events and figures in museums across the nation and through documentary film. High-quality museum exhibitions provide Americans with the opportunity to continue exploring our shared past, ensuring that students and adults alike have access to civic education outside of the classroom. Award-winning documentary films, such as Ken Burns’s The Civil War and Vietnam reach classrooms and homes in every one of our nation’s communities.

The NEH provides all Americans with access to the history of our nation. NEH funding has made the papers of many Founding Fathers and other prominent Americans freely available online; these include the papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams and his family. Download as a printable PDF.

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