This year-long initiative empowers students in grades 4–8 in the areas of leadership and civic engagement through critical thinking, inquiry, and project-based learning. Acting on the principle that liberty is a right to which every person is entitled, YHOP prepares students to identify gaps in liberty and supports them in making social change in their school or community.
The inspiration for the Young Heroes Outreach Program is the Museum’s Young Heroes Award. For years, this award program has recognized and rewarded students who make a difference in their schools and communities. The goal of YHOP is to inspire even more students to become young heroes.
In addition to the student-centered approach, YHOP includes comprehensive professional development and support for teachers, who work in partnership with NLM Educators to implement this unique, project-based program in their schools.
YHOP uses a scaffolded learning format comprised of 10 Lessons (discover) and 10 Action Steps (take action) divided into 5 key Phases. The Lessons provide context and allow the students to discover content related to civics, character education, leadership, advocacy, research, and social issues. The Action Steps provide opportunities for students to use their knowledge to take action and make progress through the identification, research, and execution of their Action Project. The Phases organize the content and activities into larger themes or steps and provide opportunities for students and Classroom Teachers to check in and reflect on their progress. At the conclusion of the program, students attend the YHOP Impact Celebration, a year-end gathering of all participating schools, where they showcase their Action Projects to other students, school faculty, family members, community leaders, and sponsors.
Since the NLM’s founding, a major component of our work has been our series of annual awards programs honoring the everyday heroes who live among us. This exhibition celebrates teachers, students, police officers, firefighters & first-responders, and healthcare professionals who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and made a difference in the lives of others.
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