Grateful American® Foundation

Grateful American Foundation Empowers Adlit.Org Content with New Blog On American Identity

Award Winning Author and Teacher Jessica Lander Creates Blog Making History Celebrating the American Experience

May 3, 2023

Jessica Ladner | Photo Credit Julian Viviescas

Grateful American Foundation Founder and President David Bruce Smith and WETA President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller announced today that through the support of the foundation, the literacy website is expanding with new content celebrating the American experience as Jessica Lander has been named teacher blogger for the new blog Making History. In each entry, Lander shares her experience bringing history to life while supporting her immigrant-origin students’ development as readers, writers, thinkers, and community changemakers.

“The Grateful American Foundation is dedicated to restoring enthusiasm about American history for young people and adults alike and is delighted to welcome Jessica Lander to help us reach this audience in a new and exciting way,” said Smith.

“I am thankful to David and the Grateful American Foundation for partnering with to expand our storytelling,” said Rockefeller. “The foundation’s commitment to fostering an interest in our country’s complex past is inspiring and will offer a compelling path to a lifelong love of history.”

Lander is an award-winning teacher, writer, and author who teaches history and civics to recent immigrant students in a Massachusetts public high school. She has won numerous awards, including being named a Top 50 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize in 2021 and was a Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Finalist in 2022. Lander writes frequently about education policy and teaching. She is the author of “Making Americans: Stories of Historic Struggles, New Ideas, and Inspiration in Immigrant Education,” “Driving Backwards,” and co-author of “Powerful Partnerships: A Teacher’s Guide to Engaging Families for Student Success.”

In the new blog Making History, Lander will share her innovative classroom projects and instructional approaches that encourage students to add their experiences and perspectives to the American story.

ABOUT ADLIT.ORG is a national multimedia project that provides educators and families with resources to support adolescent readers and writers. This is the second year WETA and The Grateful American Book Prize have partnered with on “Unlocking the Past” which celebrates careful reading, critical thinking, thoughtful debate, and learning about life in earlier times. It also gives teachers tools to prompt their students into thinking, questioning, and behaving like historians.


WETA is the leading public broadcaster in the nation’s capital, serving Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and high-quality programming on television, radio, and digital.


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