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UVa summer program teaches high school students about slavery

University of Virginia is kicking off its summer programming with a course that teaches high school students the history of slavery and the university.

The Cornerstone Summer Institute offers students a way to learn about the university’s story, its impact on the surrounding community and the modern-day legacies of slavery, according to UVa.

During the weeklong program, students will participate in activities such as historical investigation, archaeological excavation and community engagement to better prepare them for college and beyond.

“The Cornerstone Summer Institute presents opportunities for young people to learn about the University’s rich and complex history, while gaining invaluable skills in teamwork, analytical thinking and exploration that will aid them on their path to becoming tomorrow’s citizen leaders,“ Kirt von Daacke, assistant dean and professor of the department of history at UVa, told The Daily Progress.

UVa has said students will get the complete UVa experience: living in dormitories, eating in dining halls, exploring Grounds and the surrounding city of Charlottesville.

The program has about 50 students each year, according to Daacke.

“We want to keep it small because some of what we’re talking about is slavery, racism and those are difficult topics, and we want it to be a safe space where they can feel comfortable talking about that and learn and connect with each other,” Daacke said.

The program that aims to leave students with new knowledge, a passion for history, friends from across the country and new memories starts June 23 and lasts until June 30, according to UVa.

Rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to attend. Those attending the camp were required to submit an application including five short-answer questions. The camp offers financial assistance to those in need to help with the program’s $950 tuition.

“We are pleased to offer the program to high school students each summer to expand on their eagerness to learn while advancing the knowledge of our university,” Daacke said.


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