TVA Retiree Group Renews Effort to Help School Districts Teach Social Studies in High Schools

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Bicentennial Volunteers Inc., a non-profit organization of retired employees from the Tennessee Valley Authority, announced the group has renewed its effort to help school districts in Tennessee and Alabama improve their Social Studies curriculum by providing high school teachers with free copies of its updated Currents of Change educational program. The Currents of Change educational program offers a complete, interactive and regionally-focused lesson plan based upon the documentary, Built for the People, that was commissioned by BVI and produced by Sean and Andrea Nix Fine, who just received an Academy Award® last week for their latest documentary, Inocente.

BVI is a non-profit organization founded by TVA retirees that conducts a variety of volunteer activities,such as teaching water safety to schoolchildren and staffing visitor centers at TVA facilities.

Every year, school struggle with finding funds to purchase new textbooks and multimedia resources that are essential to teaching Social Studies to meet today’s rigorous educational standards. - Michael Lamb, president of BVI.

Updated “Currents of Change” educational program offers a complete lesson plan for teachers at no cost; Lessons are based upon “Built for the People” documentary created by recent Academy Award® winning directors Sean and Andrea Nix Fine.

Bicentennial Volunteers Inc. (BVI), a non-profit organization of retired employees from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), today announced the group has renewed its effort to help school districts in Tennessee and Alabama improve their Social Studies curriculum by providing high school teachers with free copies of its updated Currents of Change educational program. The Currents of Change educational program offers a complete, interactive and regionally-focused lesson plan based upon the documentary, Built for the People, that was commissioned by BVI and produced by Sean and Andrea Nix Fine, who just received an Academy Award® last week for their latest documentary, Inocente.

BVI originally launched the Currents of Change educational program as a pilot project to help local educators with teaching the history and social changes that have affected the Tennessee Valley in a manner that meet the new Common Core State Standards for Social Studies. After working with educators involved in the pilot project, BVI enhanced the Currents of Change educational program to provide a more engaging, interactive and thought-provoking lesson plan that high school teachers can easily adopt and use when teaching students about the rich history of the Tennessee Valley and TVA’s role during and after The Great Depression.

“Every year, school systems throughout the TVA region struggle with finding funds to purchase new textbooks and rich multimedia resources that are essential to teaching Social Studies so children can meet today’s rigorous educational standards,” said Michael Lamb, president of Bicentennial Volunteers Inc. “This program utilizes compelling video-based stories, actual interviews from people living in our area and other multimedia learning tools to make the story of the Tennessee Valley and TVA come alive in ways that makes it easier and fun for students to learn Social Studies. Best of all, BVI will provide this comprehensive lesson plan at no cost to all schools districts in Tennessee and Alabama.”

The Currents of Change educational program includes a total of two distinct Social Studies lesson plans and provides everything a high school educator needs to teach the course, including various aspects of multimedia DVDs, handouts, tests and answer keys. In addition, BVI developed an accompanying website at http://currentsofchange.net to provide teachers with additional tools and resources, such as more than 40 movies and video clips, hundreds of archived pictures from TVA and local residents, key terms and definitions, interactive maps and charts, and links to other online resources teachers can use with the Currents of Change lesson plans.

BVI created the Currents of Change educational program based upon on the documentary film, Built for the People. Funded by BVI and produced by Sean and Andrea Nix Fine in 2008, the documentary preserves the history of TVA and profiles the people, events and placed that have helped transform the Tennessee Valley into the thriving region that has come to be one of the most desirable places to live in the nation today. The transformation of TVA and the Tennessee Valley is given through a series of interviews with area residents, including:

  •     John Rice Irwin from Norris, Tenn.
  •     David & Patterson from Hood of Muscle Shoals, Ala.
  •     Marilou Awiakta from Oak Ridge, Tenn.
  •     Jeff Simmons from Chattanooga, Tenn.
  •     Commander Jim Poston from Kingston, Tenn.
  •     Leo Cobb from Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Lamb continued, “As noted by their recent Academy Award, Sean and Andrea Nix Fine are known for creating compelling, inspirational documentaries. BVI’s mission is to preserve the TVA story about the people, events and places that played a role in the transformation of the Tennessee Valley. We are extremely proud of the Built for the People documentary and the impact this film has had on the TVA region, and we look forward to bringing the Currents of Change educational program to more school districts so we can continue to inspire, engage and educate the next generations of children in the TVA region.”

To watch an introductory video of Currents of Change lesson plan, please click
http://currentsofchange.net/videos/videos.php?t=ss. To learn more about the Currents of Change educational program, please visit http://currentsofchange.net..

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About BVI
BVI is a non-profit organization founded by TVA retirees in 1975. The group conducts a variety of volunteer activities such as teaching water safety to schoolchildren and staffing visitor centers at various TVA facilities. Through BVI, retirees assist TVA on short-term projects and perform disaster-relief work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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