Awards and Praise


Major Grants Awarded

The Apprend Foundation and its chief program, the Thomas Day Education Project, have consistently been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grants since 1997. Approximately 16% of grants submitted to the National Endowment for the Humanities are awarded, and Apprend's funding rate is 92%. These major grants from NEH have been matched and supplemented by other grants from national, state, and private foundations as well as from contributions by individuals.

Exemplary Education Project Award, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2002

We received this award for Let it Shine for Enhancing the Teaching of African American History at the Elementary and Middle School Levels.

Educational Software of the Year, Top 3, 2001

Tech and Learning* magazine awarded this highly prestigious award to "Vietnam Views & Voices" a multi-media web application that Laurel Sneed designed for SAS Institute, a computer company in the Research Triangle Park. It engages users in "re-thinking" the decisions that propelled America into Vietnam.

Educational Software of the Year, Top 25, 2003

Tech and Learning magazine named Exploring the World of Thomas Day one of the top 25 educational software programs produced. Tech and Learning wrote, "Our judges were enthusiastic about the historical content, the easy-to-use interface, and the motivating way in which the program models the historical research process."

American Library Association Notable Award, 2004

Each year the Association for Library Services to Children identifies the best in children's books, recordings, videos, and computer software. Exploring the World of Thomas Day was chosen as one of the most notable entries in the computer software category.

All-Star Award,Children Software Review, 2003

Children's Software Review examines and judges all software created worldwide each year for children—educational as well as entertainment and "edutainment." Exploring the World of Thomas Day received a very high rating of 4.5 and judges commented: "This is a very well made, easy-to-use 'interactive documentary' whose compelling format quickly draws kids into the process of learning history. Teacher support materials are included and comprehensive." - Children's Software Review, September 2003

Silver Reel of Excellence, 2004

The Silver Reel of Excellence was awarded to Exploring the World of Thomas Day. This award recognizes outstanding media and multimedia produced in the Carolinas each year. "We liked it! Good use of media . . . this was truly interactive, not pseudo-interactive." - MCA-I Carolina Silver Reel Awards Panel, 2004


From Teachers

"Crafting Freedom has been an awesome experience—everything about it has been as near perfect as I can imagine. The very best part of the program is the people who make up the network of experts that support this project. They are the most genuine, generous, passionate people who create this incredible learning environment. I am a long-time researcher and user of primary documents, but this week I have come to see that I have been less than upfront about the African American experience in our nation's history. And worse, that as my Southern upbringing has taught me, that I have continued to teach a narrow, stereotypical, one-dimensional look at the dreadful business of owning humans. This workshop has certainly opened doors to opportunities to examine the complexity and variety within the African American community. I think my education about the history of slavery was woefully inadequate and focused on the "big house." No one has ever taken me to task over my beliefs or presentation of African-American history, possibly because I have not black students and there are few African Americans in our county. But it now seems to me that my role is more important in teaching skills for finding the "truth." I'm rethinking my position and will change not only my attitude but also my curriculum as a result of Crafting Freedom." (Middle School Teacher, Atlanta, GA)

"History is there, it's always been there and it continues to build upon itself as dust collects upon tales, everyday documents turn into historical artifacts and anonymity seems to dissolve the lives of the people. . . . In the workshop, I've been exposed to people who are dusting off the tales, reading historical documents, and seeking and celebrating the identities, lives, passions, crafts and loves. The work taking place in the academic world . . . is being passed on to a generation of teachers . . . who have had to self-educate themselves in African-American history due to its M.I.A. status in our history books. I now have more ideas about how to aid my students in getting a more concrete picture of American History using actual documents, taking field trips, watching PowerPoints, and generally seeking out and listening to all of the voices of our past. I have more ways to help the teachers in my school desegregate history—so they don't just teach African American History in February—but all year." (Media Specialist, Knoxville, TN)

"To spend the entire week in the company of the [Thomas Day Education Project] faculty and facilities was positively inspirational. Ken Grady is a gifted communicator and presenter whom I instantly liked. Ditto for Beverly McNeill, a Teacher's Teacher, if there ever was one. They were both indispensable to the outstanding success of the seminar. Rhonda Hatton [who performed the poem “Ain’t I a Woman”] was simply amazing. Though I have read Sojourner Truth's speech many times, I have never really felt it until her reading. Chubb's Miles and Twinkle Graves are national treasures. Laurel and Charlie Sneed—the dynamic duo—are brilliant strategists and organizers, but most importantly they are truly master teachers, always remaining focused on their objectives. Perhaps more importantly, they are active listeners, a rare quality among educators. I remain in debt. I have read scores of books and articles on the subject of slavery, but never quite understood it until this workshop. There is much I have to learn. Thank you for an outstanding experience!" (High School Teacher, Los Angeles, CA)

Praise from Scholars

For Crafting Freedom Materials Project

"This is an awesome on-line resource for teachers who wish to teach black history with cutting edge scholarship and state of the art resources. This is wonderful for the elementary and middle grades but I must tell you I will be using some of these web videos with my college students as well as some of the other outstanding resources on the site!"

For The Thin Edge of Freedom: The Life and Times of Thomas Day

"This is a stunning proposal that captures the nuance and complexity that was slavery and freedom in the nineteenth century. Thomas Day lived all of the ambiguities that both characterize and confound our understanding of slavery in this period. His life and the manner through which the prospers have investigated and researched his life should be brought to the attention of the American public."

"[This film] promises to be the best of microhistory: a biography of Thomas Day, a free black southerner (NC) furniture maker and slave owner that illuminates a larger, greater past. The film will reveal the complexities of race and mixed-race identity in America, delve into how race is constructed in the US and complicate our understanding of the history of slavery in the US It does a nice job of setting Day’s life in the larger national context of slavery, rebellion and NC's 'black codes' abolitionism, colonization and the coming of the Civil War, not to mention their impact on free black life in the South."

For Crafting Freedom Along NC 86: Discovering Hidden History with Mobile Technology

"To update the 1939 Federal Writer's Project road tour of NC hwy 86 is ingenious and guarantees an excellent foundation for comparing past and present historical landscapes and communities along the route. I think this project has great promise and ought to be duplicated in other states."

"In this effort, Sneed's work will provide a model for how others around the nation can use historical roads and highways as resources for teachers and school systems interested in developing alternative mode of humanities classrooms."

* Tech and Learning's Awards of Excellence (AOE) program honors outstanding educational technology and curriculum products and is nationally recognized in the industry for spot-lighting quality programs, including the "best of the best" and creative uses of new technologies. All entries are subjected to rigorous test-driving through several rounds of judging, that occur in multiple computer labs across the country. Entries are judged on: quality and effectiveness, ease of use, creative use of technology, and suitability for use in an educational environment.

All content (c) 2009 by the Apprend Foundation.