The Preserve America Youth Summit Program began in 2007 with the goal of creating an opportunity for young people aged 13 to 18 to get out of the classroom and into the field to learn about history, archaeology, heritage tourism, and preservation. Interacting directly with community partners such as federal, state and local governments and agencies as well as non-profit historic preservation, tourism, community, and education organizations, each Youth Summit provides interactive, outcome-driven learning experiences and service opportunities. As part of the program, the students reflect what they learn in the field so that they may provide critical feedback and policy advice to then help partners develop meaningful and relevant methods to reach younger audiences.
The only program of its type in the country, the Youth Summits have received national attention for the accomplishments of the experiences offered to over 1,500 students and their teachers. The Summits work to achieve four primary objectives: connecting youth and teachers to historic places; involving students in historic preservation activities; expanding tools to support teachers’ efforts in heritage and preservation education; and bolstering local preservation and heritage tourism efforts.
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