Grant Opportunities

Reimagine Educating:  American Civics and History Academies for Better Learning and Engagement.

Now accepting applications for Summer 2020! Due Wednesday, October 23, 2019


High-need students and students from underserved populations have the opportunity to build the future by studying the past through the REACHABLE grant.

Last year, Fresno State was awarded a $1.7 million REACHABLE grant by the U.S. Department of Education. A grant that seeks to engage Fresno State scholars with local teachers and students around a shared interest in history and civics. It also offers opportunities to teachers and students in the greater Fresno area who are excited about learning more about history and civics, but who may not have had opportunities to explore these themes in greater depth.

Our goals include increasing student achievement and developing college-ready skills for students through introducing them to the rich resources of national parks, national monuments and historic landmarks in California.

Spearheaded by former Provost Lynnette Zelezny and Dr. DenBeste, Fresno State is offering many resources to assist in this project.  A number of Fresno State scholars give lectures to participants and are involved in planning appropriate activities. Fresno State has also partnered with the Fresno Historical Society and the California History Social Sciences project to provide content as the REACHABLE grant seeks to demonstrate that history matters.


Who can apply?

American History and Civics Teachers (50 per year) and 11th and 12th grade high school students (100 per year). 

Any teacher in the greater Fresno County area who teaches American History or civics is eligible to apply. In the event that we receive too many applications, priority spots will go to Fresno Unified School teachers and to 11th and 12th grade history and civics teachers. However, all teachers who teach (or may teach) American history content are encouraged to apply.  All teachers who apply must nominate 2-5 students for the congressional academies, as those students will be selected from a teacher created pool.  Priority will be given to teachers serving high-need students and students from underserved populations to help ensure that these students have access to high-quality, interactive instruction that will help them become college- and career-ready and be better prepared to participate fully in civic activities. 


Presidential Academies for teachers of American history and civics will take place in five evening seminars (one each month in January to May) and one full week of day long seminars on the Fresno State campus in June, followed by a three day trip to the Bay Area and Sacramento. 

Congressional Academies for 11th and 12th grade students of American history and civics will begin with an orientation in March, student and mentor meetings in April, assigned research to be done in April through June, followed by a week long on-campus seminar at Fresno State (with students staying in dorms on campus for the week), which will culminate in a three day long study trip to the Bay Area and Sacramento.

Why should you apply?

Teachers will receive 2 units of Fresno State graduate credit, a $2,000 stipend, a week of intensive learning and research on the Fresno State campus and a study trip to the Bay Area and Sacramento.  All expenses (except for meals) will be provided by the grant.  Teachers will return to the classroom with a deeper knowledge of American history and civics and at least one reinterpreted and reinvigorated lesson ready for classroom implementation.  All content will be aligned to California history standards and common core curriculum.
Students will receive training and practice in history/civics research, a certificate acknowledging their participation in the Congressional academy, a customized letter detailing their participation, a $500 stipend, a week of intensive learning and research on the Fresno State campus, a trip to the Bay Area and Sacramento, and access to college mentoring.


Presidential Academies for Teachers
            Monthly meetings:                                                                                                                                      
            January 22nd 6-8 p.m. 
            February 19th 6-8 p.m.
            March 11th 6-8 p.m.
            April 22nd 6-8 p.m.
            May 6th 6-8 p.m.


On campus academy:

June 11-13 & 15 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Trip to Bay Area/ Sacramento: 
            June 25th- 29th

On-line wrap up July
Follow up/wrap up meeting in August (TBD)

Congressional Academies for Students
            Orientation in March (two dates to choose from)
            April-group meetings with mentors (TBD)
            April-June assigned research and e-mail/online contact with mentors
            June 16- 19 all day academy on Fresno State campus. Evenings in Fresno State dorms
            June 22nd leave for Bay Area in a.m. Return to Fresno in the evening on June 25th.
            On-line wrap up and presentations.


For more information about the grant or for information about application procedures please contact Dr. Michelle DenBeste, Dean College of Social Sciences, Fresno State (  559-278-3013 or Sierra Anderson,


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