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Cd'A Charter Academy teachers to study in Mexico

by MAUREEN DOLAN
Staff Writer | April 30, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - They're making a run for the border. A pair of Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy teachers will travel to Mexico to study this summer. Kaye Kamp, a sixth-grade teacher, and Spanish teacher Dennise Greer have been selected as National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholars.

COEUR d'ALENE - They're making a run for the border.

A pair of Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy teachers will travel to Mexico to study this summer.

Kaye Kamp, a sixth-grade teacher, and Spanish teacher Dennise Greer have been selected as National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholars.

The teachers will participate in "Mesoamerican Cultures and Their Histories: Spotlight on Oaxaca!" a four-week institute that will be held at the Centro Cultural de Santo Domingo, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico.

"I'm looking for fascination for my students. I just want them to feel the excitement I have," Geer said. "I lived in Mexico City years ago, and I'm hoping to bring that kind of excitement to my students."

Kamp and Geer were selected from a pool of 527 applicants, and are two of 30 participants chosen who will each receive a stipend of $3,300 to help cover their travel, study, and living expenses.

"The reason I applied was because I teach a topic that I had very little knowledge about, mainly the Aztec and Mayan cultures, as part of my social studies curriculum," Kamp said.

Geer said it's a good opportunity for her to speak Spanish and gather information for lessons.

"We are so excited. It is so difficult to get one of these institutes," Geer said.

The teachers applied to the program together, highlighting ways they hope to collaborate and co-teach.

Both teachers believe that helped them stand out among the many applicants.

"I think our project will be quite unusual and very motivating for the kids," Kamp said.

"We have a couple of ideas we'd like to explore, such as the history of chocolate, which originated in that area of Mexico."

Geer encourages other educators to reach out for opportunities like this.

"I think that it's difficult as teachers, no matter how long you've taught, if you haven't inspired yourself, you can't be inspiring to students," Geer said.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is a federal agency that each summer supports seminars and institutes at colleges and universities so teachers can study with experts in humanities disciplines.

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