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Can You Help Bridge the gap?

Dear UT History Alumni,

I want to share with you an exciting new outreach program that the UT History Department has created, the “UT Bridge to AP U.S. History”—and to ask you to consider helping us with this cause.

This year UT historians are working with motivated history students from some of Knox County’s inner-city and rural high schools. These students are taking Advanced Placement US History, and many hope to attend college when they graduate. We are visiting their classes, and helping them to develop their skills and prepare for success on the AP exam. Along the way, we hope that many of them will become excited about the prospect of coming to UT to be history majors.

As one of the AP teachers noted, these students are enjoying the rare opportunity to interact with college professors before they leave high school. They are sharp and talented students, and working with them has been a pleasure.

An important part of the “UT Bridge” program comes later this spring, when we hope to bring these students to our campus. They will attend a history class, take a campus tour, meet with Admissions and Financial Aid counselors, and visit the McClung Museum.

UT faculty and staff members are donating our time. But we could use funds to help us cover the costs of bringing these students to campus—transportation, substitute teachers, lunch for the students, and a few UT souvenirs. We are targeting students from schools that have fewer resources, and this support is vital if we hope to keep this program going.

Our project has been accepted as a VOLstarter project, UT’s crowd funding platform at https://volstarter.utk.edu/features/ledger/index.asp.  (Our specific project can be found here). You can go online and make a donation by linking to “UT Bridge to AP U.S. History.” Any amount would be greatly appreciated! Even a small donation lets us know that you share our enthusiasm for the goals of this project.

Best regards,
Ernie Freeberg
Chair, UT History Department

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