Aug 29, 2013

Media Contact:
Jonathan Thompson, senior manager of media relations


WASHINGTON — This week, as many Americans reflect on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Newseum Institute is adding a new civil rights-focused learning module to Digital Classroom, its online education resource. Beginning Friday, Aug. 30, the new module called "Making a Change" will be available to classrooms across the country for teachers and students studying the civil rights movement.

Digital Classroom is a free, cross-disciplinary resource featuring interactive timelines, archival videos and downloadable historical front pages, emphasizing historical connections, media literacy and civics. In the "Making a Change" module, students and teachers will have access to three online interactives, nine lesson plans, 40 archival newsreels and interviews, and more than 200 historical front pages and images. An interactive timeline highlights 100 seminal events in the civil rights movement and allows students to explore print and video news reports that add critical context to key moments. By exploring a civil rights media map, students will be able to compare and contrast how news publications like The Afro-American and The Washington Post covered news events like the 1963 March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

For teachers, the site offers comprehensive yet flexible lesson plans designed for middle, high school and college classrooms. These standards-aligned lesson plans will help teachers enhance student engagement with Newseum content, their communities and their peers across the country. As part of the "Making a Change" module, students can submit their own civil rights class work, news reports and local events for inclusion in the interactive timeline and map.

"The Digital Classroom site and 'Making a Change' module represent the best of what the Newseum has to offer, engaging students in ways that encourage them to dig deeper and view historic events from new perspectives," said Barbara McCormack, director of education at the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C.

Earlier this month, the Newseum opened "Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement," an exhibit that explores the new generation of student leaders in the early 1960s who fought segregation by exercising their First Amendment rights and making their voices heard. The display features a section of the original F.W. Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where in 1960 four African-American college students launched the sit-in movement, and a bronze casting of the Birmingham, Ala., jail cell door behind which King penned his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail" in 1963.

The Newseum's Digital Classroom was made possible by the Ford Foundation. More about the Newseum's civil rights initiatives can be found at

About the Newseum

The mission of the Newseum is to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and entertainment. One of the top attractions in Washington, D.C., the Newseum's 250,000-square-foot news museum offers visitors a state-of-the-art experience that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits, and its Newseum Institute serves as a forum for the study, exploration and education of the First Amendment. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Freedom Forum. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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