The Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home
Abilene, KS | eisenhowerfoundation.net
Ike Express brings the legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower on the road to schools in NW Kansas. A new option for schools that might be unable to make the trip to Abilene, this outreach program takes select IKEducation curricula, including artifacts and documents from its extensive teaching collection, into the classroom. Programs meet Kansas curriculum standards. Facilitated by IKEducators, programs will include:
Students will explore artifacts that provide an overview of Ike’s life. From toys typical to his childhood in Abilene, Kan., to paintings he created during his retirement years, students will learn about the life of this amazing American hero and president.
Students learn about the three branches of government, with special emphasis on the Executive Branch. They are encouraged to develop habits of good citizenship for America’s future as they complete several diverse activities — reading letters children wrote to President Eisenhower, writing a letter to the current president, making their own presidential decisions. In 1956, President Eisenhower proclaimed September 17 as the beginning of “Constitution Week.” This program fulfills the requirement for schools that receive federal funds to hold an annual educational program to honor and celebrate U.S. citizenship.
Just after World War II, Ike was introduced to the hobby of painting and enjoyed it throughout the rest of his life, completing around 300 paintings. Combining history and art, students learn about Eisenhower’s efforts to save art from Hitler, and view several of Ike’s completed works. To conclude the lesson, students “paint like Ike” to complete one of the four paintings left incomplete at the time of Ike’s passing.
Students learn about the Holocaust through primary-source stories of those persecuted. After reading a ﬁrsthand account from a Holocaust survivor, students complete a group-sharing activity that honors these individuals by emphasizing that behind each number is a name and a story. An art component can be added to this program with inHUMANITY and the Holocaust, where students paint a butterﬂy to memorialize one of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust.
By 1957, the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. President Eisenhower had desegregated Washington D.C., and Brown v Board of Education declared “Separate but Equal” education unconstitutional. That fall, nine-African American students became heroes in the cause of racial justice. Through simulations and primary sources, this program brings to life the pivotal events from the 1956-57 school year in Little Rock, Arkansas.
In addition to the new IKExpress program, the Hansen Foundation continues to provide grants for schools in Northwest Kansas to visit the Eisenhower complex in Abilene. The grant covers bus transportation and entrance/activity fees. Students participate in enhancement programs, view exhibits, and enjoy a complimentary pizza lunch.
SCHEDULING: Apply for either the outreach or the field trip at EisenhowerFoundation.net. For IKExpress outreach, simply select that option on the Dane G. Hansen Field Trip application. Need help? Contact Mitzi Bankes Gose, Director of IKEducation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-263-6771.