SNCC Digital Gateway

Teacher Recommendations

Here are recommendations by teachers in the 2018 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Teacher Institute, The Civil Rights Movement: Grassroots Perspectives from 1940-1980 for the SNCC Digital Gateway website.


Tina Tosto

high school language arts and U.S. history teacher
Biloxi, Mississippi

SNCC Digital Gateway is a perfect resource to use in the classroom. It’s easy for students to use and explore on their own, and they enjoy reading about the different people who were a part of the movement. The primary sources make it very engaging for students. The site is rich with materials for teachers to integrate into their lessons.


Will Ehrenfeld

high school history teacher
Brooklyn, New York

SNCC digital is an exceptionally useful resource for teaching the essential history of the civil rights movement. There are so many great primary sources — photos, speeches, letters, and videos — that could be used in all sorts of lessons. In our present political moment, an honest reckoning with this part of our past is more necessary than ever. Teachers at every level who care about equity and social justice will find value here.


Jessica A. Rucker

high school language arts teacher
Washington, D.C.

The SNCC Digital Gateway is a kaleidoscopic resource for students and teachers! The website is not only easy to navigate, but it offers a rich introduction (or reintroduction) to the people, places, and events led by SNCC — the only national civil rights organization led by youth. Plus, the website also serves as a repository for other resources related to the Civil Rights Movement.


Ben Phillis

high school social studies teacher
New York, New York

The importance of teaching SNCC cannot be understated. SNCC's story subverts the standard narrative of the Civil Rights Movement, shifting attention back to the people and away from "heroes." In order to properly teach the history of SNCC, it is vital to do in-depth research on the brave and hard-working individuals that fought for freedom at the grassroots level. SNCC Digital Gateway is a fount of information on people that history has tried to erase, and using it as a resource for your own learning or for classroom materials is a must in order to truly understand the movement. From the well known, like Stokely Carmichael and Fannie Lou Hamer, to the lesser known, like Amzie Moore and Herbert Lee, SNCC Digital Gateway features all the profiles of people that were indispensable to the movement. I cannot imagine teaching the Civil Rights Movement without SNCC Digital Gateway.


Jessica Kibblewhite

middle school social studies teacher
Chicago, Illinois

It is with great warmth and appreciation that I am writing to recommend that teachers utilize the SNCC Digital Gateway, not only as a resource from which to draw incredibly rich primary and secondary resources but also as a way to challenge many parts of the traditional historical narrative. As a teacher who incorporates document-based inquiry to support students to access and explore essential "hard history," I deeply appreciate the Digital's Gateway's wide breadth of rich documents framed within the history, bringing history alive for students of all ages and learning needs; students are empowered throughout this process. Most recently, I developed a lesson that focuses on day-to-day community-based organizing strategies that SNCC members implemented in Mississippi, 1961-1964. Through the SNCC Digital Gateway, I was able to access a wide range of primary sources that explore the roots of organizing, including transcripts from interviews of SNCC members, video clips, photographs, daily reports, and documents used by SNCC members to draft agendas. The scope of the resources on this site has enabled me to create lessons that prepare students to think critically about how to organize within communities, preparing and galvanizing students to become more active in their own communities.


Shonda Dawson

middle school social studies teacher
Newport News, Virginia

As a middle school social studies teacher, I have found that the SNCC digital gateway is an awesome resource for learning so many untold truths of the grassroots perspective during the CRM. It is very easy to navigate and the organization of the categories chosen for the tabs is helpful as well. Using primary sources is critical when teaching history and SNCC digital is a one-stop shop. I like to incorporate geography into my lessons to show the role that geography has played throughout history. I feel that I am a stronger teacher because I have this resource in my toolbox, the sight gives me a feeling of empowerment and confidence in teaching the content.


Aaron Broudo

high school U.S. history teacher
Bronx, New York

SNCC Digital Gateway is useful both as an introduction to the grassroots Civil Rights Movement and as a place to take a deep dive into the Movement. The short, straight to the point narratives on events and people introduce kids to lots of new topics that will generate questions in students minds about how change really happens. The links to documents, videos, and interviews allow students to answer some of those questions pretty quickly. A teacher can use it easily to plan lessons but even more importantly students can use it to do their own research.


Catherine Thompson

high school social studies teacher
New York, New York

The SNCC digital gateway is such a powerful resource for educators. It offers a wealth of resources for deepening prior knowledge of the grassroots aspect of the Civil Rights Movement. Moreover, the primary source documents, videos, and other resources are great resources for planning lessons. They could also be used with students to do their own research on individuals, organizations, events, and so much more.


Andrea N. Hall

middle school social studies teacher
Durham, North Carolina

SNCC Digital is well organized. It provides great summaries that are straightforward and to the point in addition to providing visuals and documents. I believe it will be an amazing tool in my classroom and in the community as well.


Julie Yick Gilbride

high school social studies teacher
Mountain View, California

The SNCC Digital Gateway is a really terrific resource for teachers and students. As a social studies teacher, I find many aspects that are easily accessible and extremely informative. For example, the “Our Voices” section has many biographies of SNCC activists which are relatively brief but very informative. The bios give both teachers and students a clear sense of the breadth of activism and contributions of so many young people, men, and women, which reflects the many grassroots aspects of the movement. This is extremely helpful so that students can “see themselves” in the life stories of so many. Within the bios and other pages, there are helpful hyperlinks that help students to extend their learning. Additionally, the “Resources” section has links to various videos that feature forums and discussions with SNCC veterans. Finally, the “Today” section helps students to connect the information about SNCC to current events and activism today.


Billy Rutherford

middle school social studies teachers
Boston, Massachusetts

I’ve used the SNCC Digital Gateway for my own learning about SNCC’s organizing work so that I can revamp a unit about voting to have a grassroots focus. Instead of spending one day on a “gaining the right to vote” lesson, I am going to have my students research SNCC veterans to learn about the hard work of daily organizing. I am inspired by SNCC veterans and find strength from them to think of teaching as a form of community organizing, through building relationships with youth who will transform their own lives and communities. I am grateful for SNCC and the people who made the SNCC Digital Gateway for keeping the history alive.


Sarah Bugay

middle school language arts teacher
Naples, Florida

The SNCC Digital Gateway is a wonderful resource for teachers--especially those with instruction in history and the Civil Rights Movement. Students I believe would enjoy the overview that the Gateway provides of people involved in the movement and, additionally, allow students to discover new and influential events in history that might have otherwise gone unknown. Another really wonderful piece of the site which allows for students and teachers to contextualize the information they are working with, and also discover events which may have otherwise been unknown, is the timeline. Students and teachers can click on dates and events from the timeline and further explore how those are related to other people and events in history. Additionally, each profile provides primary documents which could support students in their research projects and further contextualize their understanding of people and events involved in the movement.


Rosie Frascella

high school language arts teacher
Brooklyn, New York

The SNCC Digital Gateway is a gift to educators teaching the Civil Rights Movement. There are engaging bios of SNCC organizers, allies, and community members and many artifacts from their work and the movement for students to engage with and analyze. Every movement needs such an in-depth archive of its work.


Griffin Pepper

high school U.S. history teacher
Washington, D.C.

The SNCC Digital Gateway revolutionizes how educators can teach the Civil Rights Movement. By focusing on a wide variety of events and individuals involved in SNCC, providing primary and secondary sources from SNCC, and expanding the traditional narrative of the movement, the Gateway is a treasure trove for educators who seek to empower students in the classroom to become active in their communities.


Andrew Stein

high school U.S. history teacher
Brooklyn, New York

I've been planning a unit about Black Consciousness in the Global South for a high school class on the African diaspora, and SNCC Digital Gateway has been a valuable resource. I found many videos of Civil Rights Movement veterans speaking to consciousness-raising in relation to Freedom Schools in the Deep South. Not only did the webpage address Black Consciousness in the U.S. context, but it was also linked to background info and sources on this topic in the African context. While I have spent time pinpointing which sources to use in class, I have also realized that I could simply encourage students to explore this topic on the website on their own terms. I am excited about the kinds of questions and connections students will make about Black Consciousness across time and place through SNCC Digital Gateway.


Kasha Hayes

social studies curriculum writer
Washington, D.C.

SNCC Digital Gateway offers students an opportunity to examine primary sources in an authentic way - understanding that the struggle for freedom isn’t just content to learn in history. It invites students to understand the humanity of the Movement first because it prioritizes the power of resistance embodied by ordinary people who did extraordinary things.


Crystal Proctor

high school U.S. history teacher
Prince George’s County, Maryland

As a Social Studies teacher, I am always looking for primary resources that will bring the history to life and catch my student’s attention. In this quest to find resources I often find myself with twenty tabs open and jumping back and forth from website to website just to match a picture to an article or looking for information on a person or event from the 60’s. I often find myself redirected back to the SNCC digital website where I can find most things in an organized and clear way. The website is very user-friendly and I have had my students use it as a resource where they find it most helpful when doing research.


Bethany Hobbs

high school U.S. history teacher
Brattleboro, Vermont

I can't say enough about the ease of finding high-quality content on this website. It's like having a personal archivist tailor materials for my classroom! And at the same time, the quality of information presented through the materials is critical for our continued struggle to construct the world we wish to see!


Brian McDonald

high school social studies teacher
Durham, North Carolina

My current textbook has two sentences on SNCC, offering little clarity, connection, or context of the larger struggle for freedom. The SNCC Digital Gateway Project has changed my perspective on the Civil Rights Movement. The resource provides primary resources, veteran profiles, interactive timelines, and geographic context. The SNCC Digital Gateway will open my students' eyes to a part of history that will change their understanding of the narrative! Finally, the website's connection to "today" is crucial for our students so that they can see relevance, significance, and context.


Raymond Brookter

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

SNCC Digital is an invaluable tool for primary sources on an organization pivotal to the Civil Rights Movement. I found the access to history-rich narratives, digitized archival documents, and the interactive timeline vital for inviting students to discover unsung heroes from the last half-century. A needed resource for all educators seeking entry points to the civil rights movement beyond the luminaries for which so much has been written, yet so little understanding gleaned of the dynamic efforts of individuals to change the world. Reference librarians can offer no greater service to their patrons seeking information about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States than to bookmark this site.


Jillian Villars

high school ESOL teacher
Silver Spring, Maryland

SNCC Digital Gateway is a critical resource for all educators who are invested in helping the next generation connect the past to the present. I use the SNCC Digital Gateway to educate myself about grassroots organizing and I plan to use the videos in the "today" section to help my students make connections between the movements of the 1950s-60s and the civil rights movements of today. I now see SNCC's organizing strategies and principles as a framework for my own teaching strategies and pedagogical philosophy.