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Applications being accepted for Normandy program

A fully funded learning experience taking fifteen student-teacher pairs to Normandy, France to tell the story of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

A fully funded learning experience taking fifteen student-teacher pairs to Normandy, France to tell the story of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National History Day is now accepting applications for the 2016 Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute. This highly competitive program accepts 15 student and teacher pairs for an immersive experience of learning both in Washington, D.C. and on the beaches of Normandy. The institute is funded through a donation from Mr. Albert H. Small. The institute covers all expenses for European travel, visits to historic sites, and lodging in both Europe and Washington, D.C.

Normandy Sacrifice for Freedom: Albert H. Small Student Teacher Institute seeks to teach a new generation about the sacrifices and challenges faced by U.S. service members during World War II. Student and teacher pairs select a service member from their home state or territory who died in the line of duty. After conducting months of research participants travel to Washington, D.C. for a ten day immersion in World War II history.

“At National History Day we strive to bring history to life, and few things do that better than the narratives about these silent heroes,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “By learning about the stories behind each of these Silent Heroes, the students and teachers truly come to understand the magnitude of the sacrifice made by these brave service members.”

After a reception at the White House, sponsored by the White House Historical Association, participants embark on a journey of research and discovery. Historians and archivists guide the students and teachers through primary source material from World War II at the National Archives. Guest historians and speakers teach them about the importance of D-Day and Operation Overlord to the outcome of the war. Then the participants fly to France where each pair walks the beaches of Normandy in the footsteps of their silent hero.

Throughout their time in France, the students give briefings from their extensive research on various aspects of the War. On the final day the group heads to the American Cemetery in Normandy, France where the 15 students honor their silent hero with a graveside eulogy.

Applications for this competitive program are due by Nove, 30, 2015 at midnight. All participants must apply as one team. The adult must be a middle or high school teacher or librarian. The student must be a sophomore or junior in high school as of fall 2015. All applications must be fully completed and submitted as a single PDF document. The application, and more information, can be found online at

National History Day (NHD) is a non-profit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers year-long academic programs that engage more than half a million middle- and high-school students around the world in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. The keystone of NHD is the annual Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest held each June at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, Jostens, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Joe Weider Foundation, and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information, visit

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