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Join cultural organizations from across the District and gain access to historical collections through the DC Declaration of Learning (DCDOL) program.

From August 8-12, 2022, the White House Historical Association, DC History Center, DC Public Library, and the Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives, with guidance from D.C. Public Schools are leading an immersive, five-day teacher professional development program. This program brings history to life through object-based learning and supports civic dispositions and experiences for students while providing educators exclusive access to organizations in the city.

Who can apply?

The DC Declaration of Learning is exclusively for educators in Washington, D.C. who work in 3rd-12th grade social studies, language arts, fine/performing arts, ESL, ELL, SPED, GT, and humanities classrooms as well as those who teach as school librarians and media specialists.

As a participant...

You receive support in incorporating historic art and objects into your classroom, through digital resources from partner sites and in-person workshop experiences.

The application-based five-day summer workshop connects you with collections representatives and museum educators to develop a standards-aligned lesson plan to implement in the classroom. The lesson plan can be used on its own or as inspiration for a student-led, teacher-directed civic engagement project that addresses an issue in your community. The workshop also features exclusive site visits and hands-on inquiry-based learning activities.

Participants receive a $800 stipend upon the completion of the workshop and deliverables.

You may also opt into additional paid opportunities throughout the following school year that allow you to deepen relationships with the partner organizations and their collections, and collaborate with colleagues through workshopping lesson plans and civic engagement projects.

How do I participate?

Space for the summer workshop is limited! The 2022 DC Declaration of Learning summer workshop will be held in person from August 8-12, 2022, from 10am to 3pm daily. Applications are now open and will close when capacity is reached.

See below for more information in the Frequently Asked Questions or email

If you are not teaching in Washington, D.C., please check out the Association's national program, White House History Teacher Institute.

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Educators from the 2021-22 Cohort on a site visit to the DC History Center

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I attend the D.C. Declaration of Learning program?

Participants are selected through an application review process. To apply, you must complete an online application that details how this program will enhance your teaching along with the submission of your current resume.

When is the application deadline?

The 2022 application is now open and will remain open until capacity is reached. Apply here

Who is eligible to apply? Do I have to be a history teacher?

This local program is open to D.C. 3rd-12th grade teachers of social studies/history/humanities, English language arts, any fine/performing arts, and library/media specialists. Gifted & talented, special education, and ESL/ELL educators will also be considered. There are no limitations based on school type (i.e. public, private, or charter).

Can multiple teachers from the same school apply?

Yes, teachers from the same school can apply to the program; however, educators applying from the same school will be assessed on their individual merit and not as a team.

How are participants selected? How many spaces are available each session?

The D.C. DOL program has space for approximately 20 participants. Each applicant is individually assessed by a review panel composed of partner organization representatives using a rubric that looks at teaching methods, growth mindset, civic engagement interest, writing, and diversity of content areas represented in the cohort (mix between social studies, humanities, language arts, art, librarians, ESL, ELL, SPED and GT).

When will I be notified if I have or have not been accepted?

Applicants for the 2022 program will be notified of their acceptance on a rolling basis as they apply.

All accepted applicants must confirm their spot and agree to the participant responsibilities within the timeline indicated on their acceptance email (typically one week).

I am on the waitlist. How will I know if a spot becomes available?

Applicants put on the waitlist will be informed individually via email. There is no set time frame – we fill spots from our waitlist as they open and until the session is at max capacity.


Is there a fee to attend the D.C. Declaration of Learning program?

There are no payments or fees to participate. In fact, you will earn a stipend of $800 for your participation in the workshop and completion of deliverables.

What expenses does the program cover (meals, travel, lodging)?

  • Meals: We provide lunch Monday to Friday for the summer workshop.
  • Travel: We do not cover travel costs. Each individual participant must make their own arrangements to get to and from our downtown location.
  • Lodging: Since this is a local program, we will not be providing housing to participants.
  • Locations: Each day, the workshop will take place at a different partner site location:
    • August 8: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW
    • August 9: DC History Center, 801 K Street NW
    • August 10: White House Historical Association, 1610 H Street NW
    • August 11: Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 1201 17th Street NW
    • August 12: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW

Are there stipends available?

Yes, each teacher who attends the summer workshop will receive a $800 stipend upon completion of the workshop and deliverables. Additional stipends may be available for specific engagements throughout the following school year. Those details will be shared during the summer workshop.

I have food allergies/restrictions/am a vegetarian or vegan. What kinds of meals will be served at the summer workshop?

Once accepted, we reach out to all participants to ask about dietary restrictions and food allergies. We will work with our caterers to provide meals that can accommodate your needs. If your diet is highly restrictive, you may want to pack supplementary food. If concerned, please contact us to discuss further.

I have a need for a mobility accommodation. Are the accommodations and program accessible?

We are glad to work with you to ensure accessibility throughout the program. The program may include short walks (5-10 minutes) to nearby sites or some outdoor experiences. If concerned, please contact us to discuss further.


What can I expect at the workshop? How long are the days?

The D.C. Declaration of Learning summer workshop is structured to provide a mix of activities including lectures, classroom activities, and site visits. Participants will be expected to attend all sessions Monday through Friday (approximately 10am to 3pm). Exact timing, sessions, speakers, and tours to be announced.

Each object presented at the workshop by partner organizations will speak to a larger theme. Themes for Summer 2022 Summit include: Local history, DC statehood, DC neighborhoods, Protest, collective action, US-Native American relations, slavery in the US and the Civil War, Black artists, global perspectives, and civic responsibilities.

Has this program been done before?

The inaugural DC Declaration of Learning was held virtually in Summer 2021 but it is a proven in-person program in the state of Arkansas. In 2015, Arkansas became the first in the country to participate in the DOL. Both teachers and students enthusiastically embraced the process, lessons, and experience.

  • 100% of the educators reported that their teaching has been transformed through the program and that they plan to incorporate their learning into their future lessons.
  • 92% of students reported that the lessons had an impact on their understanding of the importance of civic engagement, and that they were personally motivated to become civically engaged.

What are my responsibilities as a participant?

At the workshop, your responsibility is to be a fully active participant in the activities and discussions. By attending the workshop, you agree to end the week with one lesson plan and two ideas for a potential civic engagement project based on objects from the partner organizations presented during the Summit.

Will my unit or lesson plan be placed on a website?

There is an opportunity for website publication on one of the partner sites, but this is not a guarantee.

All teacher lessons will be made available to fellow participants through a shared folder.


Do you offer graduate credits or state certificated PD credits?

We currently do not offer any graduate credits or official professional development credits. Upon completion of the summer workshop, you will receive a letter acknowledging approximately 35 hours of participation in this program that can be used however you see fit within your district or school.

I am thinking about travel options. What’s the best way to get to the workshop location?

We encourage traveling by metro rail or bus if possible.

Parking will not be provided at any of the partner sties, and all sites are within a few blocks of metro stations.


When you give students the chance to address real issues in history and in their community today, and you give them the historical art and artifacts to analyze, and the skills to think their way to their own conclusions, your students will rise to the challenge. They want to think about things that matter and say what matters to them.

— – Arkansas DOL participant and Bryant High School librarian Marcia Lanier

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