“Laredo History” Course
In 2011, the Local History Curriculum Project, initiated by the Webb County Heritage Foundation, and funded by the D.D. Hachar Charitable Trust, established the first state-certified course on local history being taught in Laredo schools. The course includes topics such as the study of Native Americans of this region, Spanish exploration, early settlement, various wars, development of the city’s historic neighborhoods, and topics pertaining to the modern era.
“A dream come true,” is how board members of the Webb County Heritage Foundation described the grant award of $250,000 in 2010 by the D.D. Hachar Charitable Trust for the development of a local history curriculum in area schools. “We are so very grateful to the trustees of the D.D. Hachar Charitable Trust for their vote of confidence in this project and for making such a tremendous financial commitment to the Heritage Foundation and to the student populations of Laredo,” said Margarita Araiza, Executive Director of the Heritage Foundation. “This is the kind of innovative thinking that will change the educational playing field for our community,” she said. “Up to now, Laredo history has been taught only sporadically by individual educators in a few classroom situations. Development of this project permits young people to learn how and why their city was founded; who has played dynamic roles in our community’s history; and which industries, events and opportunities spurred the establishment and growth of this colorful region,” she said.
A curriculum development committee with representatives from Laredo ISD, United ISD, the Diocese of Laredo School District, Webb Consolidated ISD, Laredo Community College and Texas A&M International University worked for more than a year with the Webb County Heritage Foundation to define and select the core elements of local history that would comprise the course contents
The grant money was used to develop a comprehensive series of video presentations for the purpose of educating local audiences on various topics and themes related to Laredo and Webb County history. Collateral materials such as booklets, teachers’ manuals, MP-3 and internet virtual tours are also planned to be complemented by tours of historic downtown Laredo including the Republic of the Rio Grande® Museum, the Villa Antigua® Border Heritage Museum, and Casa Ortiz.
We are happy to report that Laredo history is now being taught in Laredo schools for the first time ever. For the first time, descendants of Hispanic explorers, settlers, merchants, and ranchers are hearing their own stories complete with their own role models of heroism, struggle and accomplishment.
Webb County Heritage Foundation
500 Flores Avenue, Laredo, Texas
Post Office Box 446
Laredo, TX 78042-0446
Phone: 956-727-0977 | Fax: 956-727-0577 | e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org