The Office of Middle/Secondary Learning is pleased to sponsor both the Golden Horseshoe Program and the West Virginia State Social Studies Fair. In addition, we partner with several organizations to provide our students—and teachers—with exciting events and opportunities such as the United States Senate Youth Program (in collaboration with the Hearst Foundation), Youth and Government (with the Youth Leadership Association), Ambassador Camp (with the WV Culture Center), National History Day (with WVU’s Public History Department), National Geographic’s Geography Bee (with National Geographic and concord University), GIS programs, and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute’s Teacher of Year Award.

Contact the Division of Culture and History

The West Virginia Ambassadors Camp, an educational summer camp for students entering ninth grade.  The program was introduced by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History with support from the West Virginia Department of Education.  Visit http://www.wvculture.org/agency/wvambas/index.html for additional information.

Contact Information
Dustin Lambert, Coordinator
Office of Middle/Secondary Learning
Phone:  304-558-5325
FAX:  304-558-1834
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Building 6 Room 221, Charleston, WV  25305

Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge. For detailed information regarding the National Geographic Bee, school registration, student qualifications, daily quizzes and study guides, please visit the following website: https://sites.google.com/site/westvirginiastatebee/

West Virginia K-12 GIS

Contact Us

  • Erika Klose, Coordinator

  • Office of Middle & Secondary Learning, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Building 6 Room 603, Charleston, WV  25305

  • Phone: (304) 558-5325

  • Fax: (304) 558-1864

This award recognizes exceptional K–12 American history teachers across the country. Nominate a teacher today at https://www.gilderlehrman.org/content/national-history-teacher-year

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
19 West 44th Street, Suite 500
New York, NY 10036
www.gilderlehrman.org

The Golden Horseshoe Test has been administered in West Virginia each year since 1931 and is the longest running program of its kind in any state. The top-scoring students in each county receive the prestigious award and are inducted as “knights” and “ladies” of the Golden Horseshoe Society

golden horse shoe icon

The Golden Horseshoe competition is currently being planned for the 2020-21 school year. More details are forthcoming with regard to dates and testing procedures for both the written and multiple choice exams. Please check back frequently for updated information. If you have questions, please contact:

Contact Information
Dustin Lambert, Coordinator (dllambert@k12.wv.us)
Office of Middle/Secondary Learning
Phone:  304-558-5325
FAX:  304-558-1834
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Building 6 Room 221, Charleston, WV  25305

About the Fair

Philosophy

Exemplary education requires the reciprocal participation of the community and the student.  Effective social studies education requires the engagement of the learner in the investigation of the social science issues.

West Virginia social studies education affords all students the opportunity to ask essential questions, recognize patterns of behavior, think critically, create solutions, predict outcomes and draw conclusions to help them learn to solve problems.  With these opportunities in place, students of social studies will be prepared as participatory citizens of the 21st Century global society. The West Virginia State Social Studies Fair provides the opportunity for students to excel in these realms. Visit http://www.wvssfair.com/ for detailed information.

Objectives

It is the intent of the Social Studies fair to:

  • Recognize and reward outstanding achievements of Social Studies students; Implement the Next Generation West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives for Social Studies (Policy 2520.4);
  • Develop among participants an ability to apply the scientific method as it applies to social studies investigations;
  • Challenge students to be inventive and think creatively; Provide relevance;
  • Encourage students to demonstrate what they know and to observe what others throughout the state know regarding social studies content;
  • Provide the opportunity for students to interpret the cultural, social, political, geographic and economic forces of historical and current issues and events and to understand more fully the nature of social studies;
  • Encourage students to draw more heavily on all areas of social studies as a means of broadening and deepening their understanding of social science concepts and principles;
  • Encourage students to practice information and communication skills, thinking and problem-solving skills, interpersonal and serf-directional skills;
  • Provide a forum for student public speaking;
  • Generate public interest in and appreciation for the broad interdisciplinary areas of social studies;
  • Develop a greater public appreciation and understanding of the abilities of youth;
  • Encourage global awareness, economic and civic literacies, health and wellness;
  • Provide an opportunity for students to implement the 21st Century learning skills (Policy 2520.14);
  • Encourage the utilization of technology tools where appropriate (Policy 2520.14).

Contact Information:
Dustin Lambert, Coordinator (dllambert@k12.wv.us)
Help (help@wvssfair.com)
Office of Middle/Secondary Learning
Phone:  304-558-5325
FAX:  304-558-1834
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Building 6 Room 221, Charleston, WV  25305

Due to the many uncertainties posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Hearst Foundations’ planning for Washington Week 2021 is currently on hold and applications nationwide are NOT being accepted at this time. Please check for updates here that we will post as soon as we have heard from the USSYP with additional information.

The Purpose

Our 8th graders learn the operation of state government, strengthen their understanding of the three branches of government, better understand the Constitution, and learn the responsibilities of citizenship.

The Students

Participation is open to 8th graders from every school and homeschoolers from across the state. The program currently reaches students from thirty (30) counties and seventy-seven (78) different schools. Our goal is for every county to participate.

The Classroom

The Capitol – Senate, House of Delegates, Governor’s Office, Supreme Court, other Constitutional Officers; the United States Federal Court and the Charleston Municipal Court.

The Instructors

Legislators, Judges, Department Heads, Program Volunteers, and YLA staff.

The Schedule

Seminars are three day (Mon-Wed or Wed-Fri) sessions held during the Legislative Session January – February. Students invite their local legislators to a banquet dinner on the closing evening (Tues/Thur) of each session at 6:15 pm.

Legislative Banquet

Students get to meet and interact with their Legislators at an evening banquet.

The Learning Model

Observation, questioning, and discussion with elected and appointed officials, as well as key government staff help students experience the complete process of governance.

The Sponsors

The 8th Grade Youth & Government Seminars are a program of the Youth Leadership Association in cooperation with the WV Department of Education, Governor’s Office, WV Supreme Court of Appeals, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, President of the Senate and Senators, Speaker of the House and Delegates, Charleston Municipal Court, United States Federal Court, WV State Bar Foundation, participating parents, schools and teachers, and Founder Al Emch from Jackson Kelly.

Now – enjoy, learn, help others, and make lasting differences for good!

For more information, please visit: https://yla-youthleadership.org/programs/

Welcome to our YLA West Virginia Youth in Government!

Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership Association

For well over 60 years, West Virginia’s best and brightest students have been meeting annually to participate in Youth in Government!  Cecil Underwood was Governor when he worked with our HI-Y students, advisors and staff to plan our first YG.  Their work convened our first WV YG in 1958 at the Capitol.  The founding principles Governor Underwood and those helping him built into Youth in Government remain our foundation today – integrity, volunteer service, responsibility, and citizenship.

YLA Youth in Government is distinctly different.  We’re about citizenship, not politics, political careers, talk, or debate. YG seeks solutions for the common good as we lift others up to become their very best, work to change conditions so all succeed, and to make our make our schools, communities and state better than we found them.

In these three days at the Capitol, experience the process of state government by preparing and then presenting legislation in the actual House or Senate Chambers, make decisions to move West Virginia forward, create connections with peers and adults from across our state, and have a great time with a purpose.  Make friends, learn all you can, put your best ideas forward, and make differences for good now and throughout your life.

YLA began as a State YMCA in 1867.  The Youth Leadership Association is inclusive, signaling an invitation to all to participate.  New doors of opportunity are opening for more youth to benefit in all YLA programs.  YLA youth will make even greater contributions to improving our communities, states, and nation.

You choose where you want to participate.  Become a legislator, justice, page, press member, lobbyist or executive branch member.

As a result of House Bill 3080, beginning this school year, students in public schools will be administered a test the same as or substantially similar to the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services between their ninth and twelfth grade years as an indicator of student achievement in the area of civics education.

An online and a paper/pencil version of the test will be available beginning on September 10th at https://wvde.us/middle-secondary-learning/social-studies/student-programs/

Counties may also utilize the webtop to administer the exam. Each student will need their individual login information just as they do with the Golden Horseshoe Test. Scores will be given to students at the end of the exam and counties may periodically request a full report for their county.

Access via the webtop portal.

Clicking into Student Tools, then the Civics icon.

screenshot

WV State Code WV State Code §18-2-9 requires county boards of education to establish a full week recognized as “Celebrate Freedom Week” during the regular school year: A full week of classes during the week selected by the county board of education shall be recognized as “Celebrate Freedom Week”. The purpose of Celebrate Freedom Week is to educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of this country and the values on which this country was founded. Celebrate Freedom Week must include appropriate instruction in each social studies class which: (1) Includes an in-depth study of the intent, meaning and importance of the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Constitution of the United States with an emphasis on the Bill of Rights; (2) Uses the historical, political and social environments surrounding each document at the time of its initial passage or ratification; and (3) Includes the study of historical documents to firmly establish the historical background leading to the establishment of the provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights by the founding fathers for the purposes of safeguarding our Constitutional republic. The requirements of this subsection are applicable to all public, private, parochial and denominational schools located within this state. Nothing in this subsection creates a standard or requirement subject to state accountability measures. To help educators select resources that address both the requirements of the bill and the West Virginia College- and Career-Readiness Standards in social socials, the Office of Teaching and Learning has prepared the following document that includes both the related CCRS by grade and a brief list of useful resources. Please note that these resources are 1) only some of the resources available and 2) provided for educators’ convenience. They are not to be construed as curriculum, nor should they be considered as required in any sense.

About National History Day

National History Day is now being coordinated through West Virginia University. For information on the national contest please visit www.nhd.org. For information on local and state history day competitions and to begin a history day program at your school please contact Melissa Bingman (Melissa.Bingman@mail.wvu.edu).

The National Contest is the final stage of a series of contests at local and state/affiliate levels. Students begin their journey by presenting their projects in classrooms, schools, and districts around the world. Top entries are invited to the state/affiliate level contests. The top two entries in every category at the state/affiliate level are then invited to the National Contest. The 2018 National Contest will be held June 9-13, 2019 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Each year nearly 3,000 students with their families and teachers gather at the University of Maryland, College Park for the week-long event. These enthusiastic groups come from all fifty United States, Washington, D.C., Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and international schools in China, Korea, and South Asia. The excitement can be felt across the campus. After spending months on project research and preparation, and competing at local and affiliate contests, these students are eager to show their hard work at the National Contest.

Objectives

National History Day motivates students to discover history by:

  • Cultivating interest:  students research a topic of their choice
  • Developing research skills: students act as historians discovering how to uncover primary sources, build historical context and form historical interpretations
  • Becoming experts on their research topic:  presenting their research to teachers, students and historians
  • Achieving success
    • The shy student gains confidence when speaking about a topic he/she has research.
    • The apathetic student gains passion by choosing a topic of personal interest.
    • The high achieving student increases his/her ability to articulate their learning through presentation.

Questions to: Melissa Bingman (Melissa.Bingman@mail.wvu.edu)