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Texas History Academy links late Ron Stone, UHFoundation Gift Launches New Resource for Texas History Teachers

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June 3, 2009-Houston-
The rugged history of the Lone Star State is revealed in landmarks, cities and tales.  Now, a new resource at the University of Houston Center for Public History helps Texas teachers harness that rich history for the classroom.

The University of Houston Center for Public History has announced a $75,000 gift from the Ron Stone Foundation to begin the Ron Stone Academy for the Teaching of Texas History. The gift will be matched by a $75, 000 contribution by the university.

"We are grateful for the foundation's support and look forward to a continued relationship," said Professor Joseph Pratt, Cullen Professor of History and Business, director of the Houston History Project and interim dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.  "The academy will use visual media, make great use of historical sites and spur enthusiasm for teaching Texas history."

The Academy will be staffed by practicing historians and selected fourth- and seventh-grade Texas history teachers. Some key components of the courses are exposure to the latest scholarship on Texas history, projects requiring the use of visual media that can be taken back to the classroom and learning trips to Texas historical sites. Classes will begin in summer 2010, and teachers may receive college credit from the courses to apply toward a master's degree. While the classes will be taught at UH, Pratt is hopeful the academy will build alliances with other universities around the state.

"We are very excited about joining with the University of Houston in establishing the Ron Stone Academy for the Teaching of Texas History," said Jim Ellis, president of the Ron Stone Foundation. "Our board feels that Ron would be very happy with this project in that it combines the efforts of two entities he was very proud of, both of which are committed to perpetuating a love of Texas history."

The Ron Stone Foundation for the Enhancement and Study of Texas History, in cooperation with the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association, seeks to encourage learning and increase knowledge of Texas history. Learn more at http://ronstonefoundation.org/.

"If we can make a difference in the depth of knowledge that Texas history teachers convey to their students, we're doing a good thing," Pratt said.

To find out more or to register for classes, contact Pratt at 713-743-3085 or joepratt@uh.edu.

For more information about The Ron Stone Foundation, visit http://ronstonefoundation.org/.

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