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LOS ANGELES - January 14, 2010 -

The National Education Association (NEA), Tavis Smiley and the America I AM: The African American Imprint exhibition have joined forces to offer educators an historically relevant, culturally diverse curriculum for use in classrooms across the country as part of Black History Month observances. America I AM lesson plans, activity sheets and other learning materials tailored around African American history and impact on the country are available free of charge for the length of the exhibition’s four-year run at

The educational materials are tailored by grade level, covering grades 5 through 12, and can be used as a standalone history unit, or linked to other curricula including social studies, economics, math, art and literature.

“The National Education Association is delighted to be working with Tavis Smiley and the America I AM organizers to help share this informed curriculum with the education community,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “It is vitally important that our educators and students have a curriculum that reflects the rich diversity in America’s classrooms. It is our hope that schools and communities will take advantage of this teaching tool as they commemorate Black History Month and throughout the year.”

America I AM features more than 200 rare historic objects, documents, photos and multimedia through a 13,000 square-foot presentation of pivotal moments that celebrate the undeniable imprint of African Americans throughout the nation’s history. The exhibition is on view at the California Science Center in Los Angeles through April 15, and serves as a real-world touch point for educators and students to experience lessons put forth in the curriculum materials. School group attendance to the exhibition is free in Los Angeles.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing
3.2  million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Michelle Hudgins  (202) 822-7823,