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The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914-1919 Curriculum

AFS is proud to announce the launch of The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914-1919, a unique and relevant curriculum about American volunteers in World War I and how volunteerism is a key component of global competence and active citizenship education today!

The free curriculum contains 22 lesson plans within six broader topic areas, which are aligned with both UNESCO Global Learning and U.S. Common Core educational standards. The lesson plans use unique historical photographs, documents, and stories from archives and museums throughout the U.S. and France, and explore engaging and relevant questions regarding motivations and types of volunteer service. The lesson plans offer opportunities for students to analyze the history of World War I through the lens of volunteer service, both before and after the period of American neutrality. The curriculum also aims to continue the legacy of volunteerism established during World War I by encouraging students to engage in local, regional, and international service. The lesson plans can be used in courses about U.S. History, World History, European History, American Literature, Global Literature, Economics, Global Issues, and Global Leadership and Social Change.

The Volunteers Curriculum was created by AFS Intercultural Programs, together with a distinguished Curriculum Development Committee of historians, educators, and archivists. The lesson plans were developed in partnership with the National World War I Museum and Memorial and Primary Source, a non-profit resource center dedicated to advancing global education. AFS was honored to receive an official endorsement for the project from the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, based in Washington, D.C.!

The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914-1919 Curriculum was launched on March 2, 2016, at the Flanders House in New York City. The event featured keynote speaker Sophie De Schaepdrijver, a distinguished Belgian historian, Associate Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and recipient of the Order of the Crown (Belgium). The event also included remarks by Nicolas Polet, Director of Economic, Academic & Public Affairs at the Flanders House; Vincenzo Morlini, President and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs; and Margaret Hoover, an author who spoke about the humanitarian efforts of her great-grandfather, former U.S. president Herbert Hoover, who coordinated the Commission for Relief in Belgium during World War I. Photographs and a video from the exciting launch event can be found here.

Visit thevolunteers.afs.org to learn more about the project and download the curriculum!