The Alabama Humanities Alliance has announced four recipients of its 2021 Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship. Winners receive a $1,000 scholarship to support creative history- and civics-related projects in their schools and classrooms.Learn more about the scholarships
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. / Oct. 9, 2021 — The Alabama Humanities Alliance has announced four recipients of its 2021 Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship. Started in 2015 in memory of Jenice Riley — daughter of former Alabama governor and first lady Bob and Patsy Riley — the scholarship recognizes K-8 educators who share Jenice’s extraordinary commitment to enhancing the quality of education in Alabama.
Winners receive a $1,000 scholarship to support creative history- and civics-related projects in their schools and classrooms. The award aids teachers in attending a conference, purchasing classroom materials, or building programs that enhance students’ understanding of history and civics.
This year’s winners:
-Alexandria Cunningham, University Charter School, Sumter County
Project: Kinder Citizens
Kinder Citizens is a place-based project that will allow Cunningham’s students to discover civic engagement using play, reading, and investigative inquiry. Students will ultimately produce a “KidCitizen” episode sharing what they’ve learned about being engaged citizens in their community — similar to the Library of Congress-funded series of the same name.
-Lisa A. Hargett, Hayden Elementary School, Jefferson County
Project: The Lickety Split Reading Canteen
Hargett’s classroom is getting a makeover in order to “lasso” students’ attention and “spur” her diverse group of learners forward. Her classroom will be transformed into a Wild West town, complete with an Old Western hotel, livery, mustang pony backdrops and other thematic scenery to immerse students in a mindset of historical discovery.
-Leslie Lawhorn, Madison County Elementary School, Madison County
Project: Colonial “Substitute Teachers”
With field trips more difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions, Lawhorn has come up with a way to bring history alive in her classroom. She’ll purchase historically accurate costumes of figures from Revolutionary America and have guest experts dress in those costumes to present content from that era to her students.
-Laura Powell, Bluff Park Elementary School, Jefferson County
Project: Experiencing Alabama History
Through this project, Powell will help her students with special needs to experience Alabama history in a hands-on way. New picture books will be used to guide the journey. Unique, interactive lessons will bring Alabama to life. For example, students will learn Alabama geography by baking cookies and using icing to display the state’s prominent geographical features.
Next year’s Riley scholarship competition will open in Spring 2022. For more information about the Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship, visit alabamahumanities.org/program/jenice-riley-memorial-scholarship.
About the Alabama Humanities Alliance
The Alabama Humanities Alliance is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and we’re passionate about using the humanities to make Alabama a better place to live. AHA supports programs statewide that encourage impactful storytelling, lifelong learning and civic engagement. We provide Alabamians with opportunities to learn, to connect with our communities and to see each other as fully human. Learn more at alabamahumanities.org.