INDIANAPOLIS (2 October 2013) – More than 45 students from throughout the state participating in the Indiana Preservation Youth Summit will travel to southern Indiana this week to explore Underground Railroad sites.
The three-day, two-night excursion, Friday through Sunday (Oct. 4-6), will take students and educators to Jeffersonville, New Albany and Madison where they will meet with local Underground Railroad and museum experts (see photo opp itinerary below).
The Youth Summit is more than an extended field trip. Based on their Underground Railroad field studies, a team of the students will share their perspectives on how to interest youth in history and preservation in an October 31 session at the National Preservation Conference in Indianapolis.
Preservationists, real estate developers, architects and planners, state and local officials, and tourism experts attend the annual conference staged by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This is the first time the conference has been held in Indiana.
“The great aspect of the Youth Summit is that it allows students to act as consultants who give feedback to tourism professionals, museum administrators and politicians on the best ways to interest young people in the Underground Railroad,” says Suzanne Stanis, director of education at Indiana Landmarks and one of the summit organizers. “Instead of trying to determine what kids want, we’re letting the students figure it out and tell us.”
The junior and senior high students and eight educators were selected through a competitive application process. Each received a scholarship made possible through: the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program; the Indiana Department of National Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology; Indiana Landmarks; and Indiana Freedom Trails, Inc.
For more information about the Preservation Youth Summit or to see the itinerary, visit www.indianafreedomtrails.org/youth_summit.php.
The Youth Summit project has been funded in part by a grant from the U.S.
Department of the Interior, National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.
Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With eight offices located throughout the state, the non-profit organization helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservationist. For more information, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit www.indianalandmarks.org.