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Awards and Grants

Awards Selection Committees

NCSS is looking for members to serve on awards selection committees. Our selection committees review nominations and select recipients of NCSS awards and grants. Committee members serve a three-year term and most committee work is accomplished online or by phone. Members are also asked to make a reasonable effort to attend the award winner's session, an awards presentation at the Annual Conference, and assist the committee chair when need arises during the review or at the Annual Conference.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

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Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year

The annual NCSS Outstanding Teacher of the Year Awards recognize exceptional classroom social studies teachers for grades K-6, 5-8, and 7-12 who teach social studies regularly and systematically in elementary school settings, and at least half-time in middle or junior high and high school settings. Award winners receive $2,500, a complimentary one-year membership in NCSS, the chance to present a session on their work at the NCSS Annual Conference, and up to $500 in transportation/lodging reimbursement to attend the Annual Conference.

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Award for Global Understanding Given in Honor of James M. Becker

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The Award for Global Understanding Given in Honor of James M. Becker recognizes a social studies educator (or a team of educators) who has made notable contributions in helping social studies students increase their understanding of the world.

The award includes a $2,000 cash award, a session to present at the NCSS Annual Conference, complimentary NCSS conference registration, and up to $700 in transportation/lodging reimbursement.

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Grant for the Enhancement of Geographic Literacy

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The NCSS Grant for the Enhancement of Geographic Literacy was created to promote geography education in the schools; to enhance the geographic literacy of students at the classroom, district, or statewide level; and to encourage the integration of geography into the social studies curriculum/classroom. Award winners receive $2,500, a commemorative award, and present a session on their work at the NCSS Annual Conference.

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FASSE Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award

In 1986 the Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award was established to help classroom teachers "reach for the stars" and achieve a dream that under ordinary circumstances would not be fulfilled. The Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education (FASSE) was created in 1984 by the Board of Directors of the National Council for the Social Studies. The purpose of the fund is to support research and classroom application projects which improve social studies education, foster enlightened citizenship, and promote civic competence.

The purpose of the $2,500 grant is to help a social studies educator make his or her dream of innovative social studies a reality. Grants will be given to assist classroom teachers in: 1) developing and implementing imaginative, innovative, and illustrative social studies teaching strategies; and 2) supporting student implementation of innovative social studies, citizenship projects, field experiences, and community connections.

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NCSS Research Awards

NCSS and the NCSS Research Community sponsor three annual research awards designed to recognize substantive scholarly inquiry in social studies education:

Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award

Exemplary Research Award

Jean Dresden Grambs Distinguished Career Research Award

Carter G. Woodson Book Awards

In 1974, National Council for the Social Studies established the Carter G. Woodson Book Award for the most distinguished social science books appropriate for young readers that depict ethnicity in the United States. The purpose of this award is to encourage the writing, publishing, and dissemination of outstanding social science books for young readers that treat topics related to ethnic minorities and relations sensitively and accurately.

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NASBE Civic Engagement Champions Award

NCSS' partner, NASBE, honors outstanding teachers who foster civic engagement among students with national recoginition and a $5,000 award. Middle school teachers play a particularly strong role in boosting civic knowledge and engagement, helping students become active, responsible citizens. NASBE’s Civic Engagement Champions (CEC) award program honors middle school teachers who promote their students’ active citizenship.

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