2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award

First Lady Michelle Obama presents the 2011 NAHYP Award to James Basker, Preside

New York, NY (November 2, 2011)—The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s Saturday Academies (GLSA) has received the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. Chosen from a pool of more than 471 nominations and 50 finalists, GLSA was among 12 after-school and out-of-school programs across the country to receive the award—the highest honor such programs can receive in the United States. Today at the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama presented student representative Robert Sandoval with the award, which recognizes community-based arts and humanities programs.

GLSA provides free elective courses for high school and middle school students on Saturday mornings and have helped more than ten thousand students gain a deeper knowledge of the humanities through American history, literature, and arts classes. Run by the New York City–based Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the program is available at sites across the country, including:

  • Abraham Lincoln High School Saturday Academy (Brooklyn, New York)
  • Academy of American Studies Saturday Academy (Queens, New York)
  • Algiers Charter Schools Association (New Orleans, LA)
  • All Hallows Saturday Academy (Bronx, New York)
  • Andover High School Saturday Academy (Andover, Kansas)
  • Bishop Kearney High School Saturday Academy (Brooklyn, New York)
  • Brooklyn Historical Society (Brooklyn, New York)
  • Grants Pass High School Saturday Academy (Grants Pass, Oregon)
  • Heights High School Saturday Academy (Wichita, Kansas)
  • Monsignor Farrell High School Saturday Academy (Staten Island, New York)
  • Museum of the City of New York (New York, New York)
  • New Dorp High School Saturday Academy (Staten Island, New York)
  • New-York Historical Society Saturday Academy (Manhattan, New York)
  • Notre Dame Saturday Academy (Manhattan, New York)
  • Rutgers University (Newark, New Jersey)
  • Salesian High School Saturday Academy (New Rochelle, New York)
  • School Without Walls Saturday Academy (Washington, DC)
  • Spanish River Saturday Academy (Palm Beach County, Florida)

Eighteen-year-old Robert Sandoval is a senior at All Hallows High School in the South Bronx and has attended GLSA for six semesters. The program helped him achieve outstanding scores on his standardized history tests including the AP World, AP US, Regents Exams, and the US History SAT II. In the spring of 2012, he will graduate second in his class.

“Gilder Lehrman Saturday Academies have helped me gain a better understanding and deeper insight on topics in American History and sharpened my understanding of the past and its effects on the present,” said Robert Sandoval. “When I grow up I want to be able to look back at the memories and accomplishments in the journey of my educational career and the honor of receiving this award from First Lady Michelle Obama will for sure be a lifelong memory.”

“History education is critical not only to academic success but to good citizenship,” said James Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “Gilder Lehrman Saturday Academies help develop the minds and realize the potential of today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders. We are thrilled to receive this prestigious honor.”

Administered by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the award honors community-based arts and humanities programs that make a marked difference in the lives of their participants by improving academic scores and graduation rates, enhancing life skills, developing positive relationships with peers and adults, and expressing themselves creatively.

In addition to the national recognition bestowed by receipt of the prestigious award, organizations each receive $10,000 to support their programming and engage more young people from the community.

About The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award
The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs. The awards recognize and support outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement outside of the regular school day. These programs excite and engage a range of students, cultivating imagination, collaboration, discipline and academic success, with demonstrable results. They also provide safe harbors after school, on weekends and evenings for children and youth in some of our country’s most at-risk urban and rural settings. For more information, visit www.pcah.gov.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting the study and love of American history through a wide range of programs and resources for students, teachers, scholars, and history enthusiasts throughout the nation. Gilder Lehrman creates and works closely with history-focused schools through its Affiliate School Program; organizes teacher seminars and development programs; produces print and digital publications and traveling exhibitions; hosts lectures by eminent historians; administers a History Teacher of the Year Award in every state and US territory; and offers national book prizes. The Gilder Lehrman website,www.gilderlehrman.org, serves as a gateway to American history online with rich resources for educators designed specifically for K–12 teachers and students.