01/28/2005

Civil Rights Kit Impacts Classrooms

A recently completed survey indicates one of the Center's most popular curriculum kits, America's Civil Rights Movement, is having an overwhelmingly positive impact in the nation's classrooms.

More than 200 educators completed evaluations during the first three months of the kit's fall re-release. Nearly all said the kit was achieving its goals, which include increasing student understanding of the Civil Rights Movement and increasing appreciation for those who are different.

Teachers said the kit, which includes the Academy Award-winning film A Time for Justice, had a dramatic impact on their students.

"I have never seen a greater interest in any project," said a teacher from Stone Mountain, Georgia.

"Our students left the classroom still discussing the biographies of civil rights leaders who were killed, and on another day, talking about the injustices shown in the video," wrote another educator from Schaumburg, Illinois. "Thanks for developing great educational materials."

First released in 1992, America's Civil Rights Movement tells the story of the struggle to end official apartheid in the United States. More than 100,00 free copies have been distributed to educators across the country.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said the kit increased students' awareness that they can be advocates for social justice, and 93% said the kit increased student understanding of civil rights history.

Other results from the survey:

  • 89% rated the kit as excellent;
  • 99.9% said they will use the kit again in the future;
  • 99% said they would recommend the kit to other educators; and
  • 99.9% said that students reacted to the kit with enthusiasm.

In addition to the film, the kit includes the book Free At Last and a new standards-based teacher's guide. The book was redesigned to give it a fresh new look and its text revised to reflect new information since it was initially published.

America's Civil Rights Movement is available at no charge to schools, churches and community groups.