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External link: Liubite rodinu!<br>
Translation of title: Love your motherland.
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An Adventure of the American Mind: Joining Educators and Students With Library of Congress Resources

Special Projects

National Summer Institute Program | Computer Literacy Program

National Summer Institute (NSI) Program

History of the AAM National Summer Institutes (NSI)
NSI Best Practices
2003 NSI Summary & Agenda


From 2000 to 2003, the AAM program hosted a week-long Summer Institute for graduates of the K-12 teacher training program. Teachers from all AAM partner schools were invited to attend.  Due to the growth of the AAM program, the institute was discontinued in 2003 because it was no longer cost-effective to run a national program.  Beginning in 2004, all AAM partners will have the option of running their own local summer institutes, and many have already done so.

Support Materials:

Developed by Wendy Fusco
AAM Director, Montreat College
Suggestions and comments: E-mail (wfusco@montreat.edu)

2003 NSI Application MS Word
2003 NSI Booklet MS Word
(Zip, 10MB)
2003 NSI Booklet Cover   PDF
2003 NSI Unit Plan Template MS Word
NSI Graduation Certificate MS Word
(WinZip w/fonts 109KB)


Computer Literacy Program

UNC-Asheville Computer Literacy Initiative (external Web site)

(See photos from 2003's graduation ceremony)

This program consists of two one-week summer camps for rising seventh- and eighth-grade students who have been identified as "at risk". Students are recommended by their teachers and must complete an application.

Students stay overnight and each camp begins on Sunday at 4pm and ends on Thursday at 3:30pm . The residential nature of the camps is instrumental in the development of learning communities which play a significant role in student learning. One camp enrolls only boys and the other only girls. Forty students attend each camp and are housed in UNC-Asheville dormitories. Each day students participate in three small-group class sessions, focused on building developmentally-appropriate computer skills with extensive use of the Library of Congress Web site, leadership and diversity training, outdoor activities, and team building exercises.

At the conclusion of the camp, students participate in an exhibition of their academic work and are recognized at a reception attended by parents, faculty, and community representatives, as well as the UNCA Chancellor and Congressman Charles Taylor.

Dr. Elaine Fox, director of UNCA's Special Academic Programs, administers the program. Four lead teachers deliver instruction daily. They are assisted by a dorm supervisor and eight camp counselors.

Use of the American Memory section of the LOC Web site figures heavily in camp activities. Each small group class addresses a theme supported by American Memory Resources and Activities. Themes include:

Theme 1:

Immigration: People of This Region, Their History, and How They Came to Be Here

Since the focus of the program is on minority populations the following topics are explored using the American Memory Web site and incorporating the resources provided by that site:

The history of the slave trade, the social, economic and political forces behind it and the resulting cultural and demographic;

The displacement of the indigenous populations, i.e. American Indian, and the historical context in which it took place, along with significant historical figures who played a part in the movement;

The history and patterns of migratory workers, along with the economic and social implications of these population movements.

Students use the American Memory Web site as a resource for learning about the people and heritage of western North Carolina . They explore the migration patterns of the people of the region, learn the history of the Cherokee Trail of Tears, discover the stories of the Underground Railroad, examine the development of the region by the Scot-Irish settlers, and learn about the social and economic issues surrounding the migratory workers.

Students read a selected novel or story that illuminates these topics and complete a book review for other students. In addition, they are required to produce a desktop-published "book advertisement" for the book or story of their choice.

Using the American Memory Web site, students compare maps and demographic information of the WNC area. They learn concepts relating to architecture, famous people, significant landmarks in the area, etc. Each student completes a PowerPoint presentation on one aspect of the course content.

Theme 2:

Biotechnology: Mapping DNA

Biotechnology is introduced when students map their own DNA through saliva samples and enter the DNA patterns into a Computer Literacy database specifically designed for the program.

The UNCA Arts and Sciences faculty are involved along with other instructors to provide students with hands-on science and technology activities related to biotechnology. The American Memory Web site is used where appropriate and to the extent that information is available to support this study.

Theme 3:

Creative Expression of the People in WNC: Quilting

Students research ways in which residents of WNC have expressed themselves through quilting. Resources for research are accessed via the American Memory web site and students are given the opportunity to share the information they have discovered that relates to their ethnic group. In addition, students participate in activities designed to boost their own creative expression during the late afternoon activity periods.

The artistic expression of the people of the region is explored by students designing their own prints of quilting patterns traditionally used by the various demographic groups in WNC. Students leave the camp with a self-designed album of all the quilt patterns selected by members of their learning community.

Each student, as part of admission into the program, is asked to contribute at least one article that typifies the culture of which they are a part. These are collected and displayed in a temporary "museum" in the UNCA Ramsey Library with the help of the art exhibition librarian. A visit to the library is part of the curriculum. These articles are returned to the students at the end of the camp session.

Leadership and Diversity Training

Daily training sessions and activities focus on interpersonal skills, developing leadership qualities, and embracing differences. The training is led by outdoor educators Chad Morgan and Debi Miles of UNCA's Center for Diversity. The students learn to appreciate the uniqueness of their fellow students while celebrating their own heritage and unique talents and gifts.

Recreation and Social Activities

UNCA's Office of Outdoor Education serves as a resource for the delivery of this part of the camp. Students are given the opportunity to engage in activities such as kayaking in the UNCA pool, completing a low ropes course, and other participating in mind-body fitness activities.


An Adventure of the American Mind is a Library of Congress funded program, administered through the ERC.
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