Keeping and Creating American Communities (KCAC)
invites educators from all subject areas, grade levels, and school environments to study and to shape American communities.
American communities are forming and reforming, dividing and combining, all around us
. While demonstrating a vibrant sense of place that may simultaneously be local, regional, national, and even international, American communities construct themselves in a wide variety of shared ways. This culture-making work produces literature, language, architecture, cultural events, public policies, and the physical landscape.
The program promotes student and teacher research and writing to explore community life.
Through community projects and collaborative research, KCAC supports students' and teachers' interactions with community members. These collaborations expand the study of local cultures to reflect the increasing diversity evident in American life. The interdisciplinary curriculum of the KCAC project serves students and teachers from elementary school through university.
KCAC also offers ongoing professional development for teachers, combining a thematic framework for humanities study of community life with hands-on applications for the classroom.
Participating in KCAC activities prepares teachers to guide community-oriented learning emphasizing writing, research, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
The National Endowment for the Humanities supported the development of the Keeping and Creating American Communities (KCAC) model through a three-year funded program involving teachers affiliated with the National Writing Project. Since then, KCAC has brought together teacher researchers, their students and community members in inquiry and writing to recover stories from the past, participate actively in civic life, and create future communities to which all Americans can belong.
We encourage you to explore the vast resources that the KCAC website has to offer, which includes an archive of the original project, curricular examples, and a helpful introduction to the KCAC model
You may also find our publications Writing Our Communities and Writing America
invaluable resources that further define the KCAC model and offer real world examples of KCAC practices in the classroom.