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About Emerging America

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A program of the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) in Northampton, Massachusetts. Founded in 2006, Emerging America supports K-12 history educators and students–especially struggling learners–to develop skills of inquiry, exploration and interpretation of the past through primary sources. With funding from the U.S. Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program at CES, the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture program, and other sources, we offer stimulating and useful professional development, exemplary projects and materials, technical assistance, and online resources. Emerging America staff consult regularly with local schools and districts, Special Education in Institutional Settings, and the Education Program of the Department of Youth Services.

Emerging America builds teachers’ capacity to access and effectively use primary sources to engage students of all abilities. Emerging America programs feature primary sources and scholars from local museums and archives to the vast collections of the Library of Congress. Emerging America is a core member of a digital humanities project with the Disability History Museum.

On the EmergingAmerica.org website:

  • Access Professional Development workshops and courses, including online courses.
  • Find lesson plans, assessments, primary source sets, student activities, and other Teacher Resources.
  • Explore Online Exhibits showcasing primary sources and compelling stories on Industrial History, Abolitionism, and other Reform Movements with roots in Western Massachusetts. Learn to engage students in research and publishing local history through Windows on History.
  • Gain teaching strategies and tools to help Special Education students, English Learners, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse learners to access inquiry through primary sources.

Emerging America workshops and resources help teachers and students meet content standards in History and Social Science and challenging literacy standards, including the Massachusetts Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, and the national Social Studies Frameworks for College, Career, and Civic Life (C-3). In partnership with local and national history institutions and top scholars, we help teachers build engaging curriculum and hands-on projects while encouraging rigorous critical thinking about evidence and interpretation.

The name, “Emerging America,” reflects our comprehensive and engaging approach to the study of history; like the nation itself, historical inquiry constantly evolves, ever growing, changing, and incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences.

Upcoming Workshops


Social Studies and Humanities pose distinct challenges for struggling learners, including extensive discipline-specific vocabulary, difficult informational text…