The Linden Heck Howell Texas History Initiative was established in memory of Ms. Howell, former member and chair of our state humanities council Board of Directors, as a lasting tribute to her service to the organization and her commitment to the study of Texas history. Ms. Howell served on the Board from 1996 to 1999, during which time she made significant contributions to the vitality of not only the Texas council, but also the national Federation of State Humanities Councils. Her commitment to the humanities inspired family, friends, and colleagues alike.
Following Ms. Howell’s death, Humanities Texas inaugurated the Linden Heck Howell Memorial Fund with leadership gifts from her husband, J. William Howell of Portland, Texas, and both the Heck and Howell families. The fund supports two Humanities Texas programs:
Each year, one teacher of Texas history is selected to receive this prestigious award. The winning teacher receives $5,000, with an additional $1,000 for his or her school for the purchase of instructional materials supporting Texas history.
These grants of up to $10,000 are made to Texas educational and cultural organizations to support the development of K–12 instructional materials focusing on Texas history. Previous Howell grant recipients include:
Teaching Texas Slavery. University of Texas faculty Daina Ramey Berry (history) and Keffrelyn Brown and Anthony Brown (Curriculum and Instruction) developed an extensive website with curriculum resources supporting teaching the history of Texas slavery. Materials include primary sources, document-based questions, and sample lessons. The project culminated with workshops for teachers from low-performing districts.
Exploring Texas with Digital Story Maps. Geography professor James Petersen of Texas State University assembled a team of geographers, historians, educators, and librarians to create digital "story maps" to use in conjunction with a specially-designed giant floor map of Texas. The project brings together Texas geography, history, and culture in an interactive format that students can access with hand-held mobile and tablet devices.
My Texas History Notebook Awards. The University of North Texas Library held a competition among teachers to develop online lesson plans featuring primary source documents available through the Portal to Texas History. Awards were presented in three categories: interactive lesson plans for dual language learners, interactive lesson plans, and primary source sets.
Texas in Transition: Railroads, Oil, and the Rise of Urban Texas, Texas State Library and Archives. In partnership with ESC 20, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission created primary source-based lesson plans exploring that period in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when Texas was transformed from a predominantly rural state into a modern industrial power.
Texas Music History Online. The Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University added a series of video documentaries to Texas Music History Online (TMHO), a website for educators, researchers, and tourists exploring the state’s musical heritage. The documentaries, which feature different facets of Texas music history, are aimed at Texas middle and high school students and supplemented with lesson plans, primary sources, and suggested additional readings.
A New Deal for Texas Parks. Working with the Texas State Historical Association and The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Parks and Wildlife developed an educational website documenting the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Texas.