By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Although she hated history, Hannah Paredes, 14, fell in love with it when she took part in the “Making Invisible Histories Visible” program, MIHV, a seven-day summer program.

MIHV was developed to motivate 9th graders at high risk of dropping out in the Omaha Public Schools to adjust to the demands of high school by connecting the community to subjects they study in class.

Hannah researched Milton Ross, a decorated African-American soldier, who died a hero in Vietnam, but found his grave overgrown with weeds. She cleaned the grave; others interviewed members of north Omaha’s African-American community, learned about their newspapers, creating a digital archive of their work.

Success was real as teachers developed new ways to relate to the community history, “beyond what’s normally taught, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X” and students achieved significant improvement in their history and their ability to use online technologies.

Read more in the fall issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine.

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