Teaching West Michigan Histories Project

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Child pointing to a map of Indigenous people in Michigan today

Helping our youth see themselves in history

The Kutsche Office of Local History launched the Teaching West Michigan Histories project in 2021. We work with local K-12 educators and community organizations to help young people understand that all history is local history

This project involves developing classroom-ready materials that educators can seamlessly fold into their existing plans, knowing that it has been thoroughly researched, aligns with all mandatory educational standards, and covers developmentally-appropriate subjects in engaging and unique ways.

These materials will encourage students to look at major historical events from a local perspective, reminding us all that history does not only take place in legislative buildings, battlefields, or boardrooms.

Get Involved

Recommendations, references, questions? We want to hear from you!

TWMH is developing two pilot programs for the 2022-2023 academic year, and we will have many updates to share as our work progresses.

We would love to hear from current or retired education professionals, local historians, or community champions that understand the value of sharing the region's underrepresented histories. Local involvement assures that this work is responsive, responsible, and respectful of our community's needs.

Please contact the Kutsche Office at [email protected] or 616-331-8099

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A student at Holland High sitting at a table
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Curriculum Developer - Will Barnwell

Will Barnwell is pursuing his M.A. in Social Innovation at Grand Valley while working on the TWMHP. Will is an educator with experience in the classroom and in developing engaging lesson plans. Will's Curriculum Developer work entails networking with community stakeholders to create and pilot lesson plans that bring the local history of underrepresented communities into West Michigan's K-12 classrooms.

Will Barnwell smiling on a bicycle and holding a cup of coffee

Research Assistant - Rebekkah Bowen

Rebekkah Bowen is a Grand Valley senior who has worked on multiple public history projects during her time here. As the TWMHP Research Assistant, Rebekkah does the nitty-gritty of digging through archives, compiling information, and uncovering crucial gaps in our current historical knowledge of underrepresented communities in West Michigan.

Rebekkah Bowen standing in front of a tree and smiling

Page last modified September 19, 2022