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story.lead_photo.caption BROOKE HARTON

TEXARKANA, Ark. — A teacher at College Hill Middle School is one of 58 teachers selected for a National History Day professional development program.

Brooke Harton, who is in the program, said she is glad to have this opportunity, because it allows her an avenue to make history more engaging for her students.

This new course focuses on using online Library of Congress primary and secondary sources to develop and support student research skills, and is a feature of NHD's membership in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium.

"As an eighth-grade U.S. History teacher, it was often a challenge to keep students motivated and excited when presenting them with historical documents," Haarton said. "History can sometimes come off as being very dry and my hope as a teacher is to bring it to life."

Harton said she was eager to learn how to engage her students with memorable lessons using primary source material.

"This course has offered so many tools that will be helpful in truly allowing history to fly off of the page and make an impact in my students' lives," she said.

Harton said she hopes to take the skills she learned and collaborate with the teachers at College Hill in using historical documents in the classroom.

"My primary goal is to always support our teachers," she said. "If we can get our students engaged in historical documents at a young age, it is something that they will carry with them through the rest of their lives."

Harton's passion for history and research was instilled by her teachers and she wants to pass this along to her students.

"I challenge my students to ask questions and to inquire as to why certain documents were preserved and why it is important to think like a historian," she said. "Historical documents are so much more than just words on a page. It's our responsibility to keep history alive and to share it with everyone."

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