Education and Training

While Signature produces audio-visual training materials for staff, personnel, volunteers and the general public, we also specialize in curriculum based educational materials for schools. Numerous national parks, associations and government agencies have availed themselves of this specialized service. These total educational packages may include video or audio programs. They also include supportive elements that can involve teacher guides, posters, lesson plans, classroom or on-site activities, and artifacts.

Our educational specialists not only design these programs, but often conduct on-site training for park service/agency personnel and for classroom teachers. These programs may involve hands-on activities and are geared to teach thematic concepts as well as the facts of history, technology, or human affairs. We can also handle promotion and distribution of these packages through regional or national educational publications.

Selected Examples
Gettysburg National Historic Site
Dwight D. Eisenhower National Historic Site
Conflict

This curriculum-based flexible resource unit included a study guide, activities and poster. The programs purpose was to help students deal with conflict in their own lives while learning about conflict in the Civil War (Gettysburg) and the Cold War (Eisenhower Farm). On-site training at both parks brought teachers, rangers and students together to test and evaluate the success of the program.

Appomattox National Historic Park
Booker T. Washington National Monument

Paralleling our work at Gettysburg and Eisenhower, we created similar curriculum based programs for Appomattox National Historic Park and Booker T. Washington National Monument, focusing on the meaning of freedom. This potentially abstract concept was put into the context of the reality of peoples lives through audio programs replete with historic quotes from primary sources. All this was integrated with study guides, activities and other classroom materials.

"Our Inspiration:" The Story of Maggie Lena Walker

A PBS television special formed the core of this educational package, conveying the significance of Maggie Lena Walker - the country's first African American female president of a chartered bank. The curriculum-based package encompassed materials that included a video, poster and teacher's guide. It is distributed nationally through Learning Magazine. Eight national awards.

United States Peace Corps
Destination: Poland
Destination: Kyrgyzstan
Destination: Dominican Republic

The Peace Corps commissioned Signature to produce the elements of educational packages to introduce young Americans to the cultures of their counterparts in these countries. International location production led to a core video for each project. Collateral materials included an extensive teachers guide providing lessons and activities for elementary, middle and high school students. The guide is also electronically available on the world wide web.

AWARDS

Worldfest, Telly Awards

National Public Radio
The Art of the Interview

To help train future electronic journalists through university communications programs, NPR commissioned Signature to produce a training video that would integrate into college curricula. Location production in NPR studios documented the behind-the-scenes activities of professional interviewers and talk show hosts preparing, conducting and editing their interview-based radio shows. Interviews with them supplied the voice-over narrative that revealed the insightful and differing interview techniques of each.

American Judicature Society
Through My Own Eyes

This half-hour program was produced to teach immigrants about the American system of courts and justice. It tells stories scripted by Signature of immigrants who find themselves enmeshed in the court system in civil and in criminal cases. Each leads to courtroom dramas, enacted by professional talent, that draw us into an understanding of trials by jury and judge, by checks and balances. The sense of personal drama creates an immediacy that has proven effective nationally in preparing immigrants for citizenship, and in preparing jury members for their duties. To enhance the programs effectiveness for immigrants, Signature worked closely with our partner, the National Captioning Institute, to translate the video into a dozen different languages.

AWARDS

CINE Golden Eagle, U. S. Film/Video, Chicago INTERCOM Festival

George Washington and the French and Indian War

Working with a consortium of museums, parks and battlefields, we developed a curriculum-based teaching kit -- including maps, art, artifacts and other primary source materials related to each of six area sites. Our role also included teacher training and evaluation of the materials. The result was a comprehensive program with hands-on experiences, teaching elementary school students why the French and Indian War was a prelude to the American Revolution -- an episode barely studied in schools.

Hampton: A Window to the Past

Near Baltimore stands the Hampton Mansion, rich with the history of one family and their slaves and servants -- from colonial times to the 20th century. Signature was asked to bring its history alive for 4th and 8th graders. Our educational package for the National Park Service included a poster, teacher lesson plans with activities and black-line masters, AND a richly texured video production. It brought to life the people and the place through history, and how all was changed by the Civil War.

It's My Choice

Interacting with a video production, this package included a teacher's guide, classroom activities and role playing. Aimed at heading off the growing rate of teenage pregnancies, the program targeted young people in their formative years, rather than waiting until they became teens. Its approach is to focus on youths' understanding of the value of making responsible decisions in all aspects of their lives, including those about sexual relationships.

Pasta! The Inside Story

Everybody loves PASTA! But where does it come from? Why is it good for you? How is it made? And where do they get all those crazy shapes??? Produced for the National Pasta Association, this package included a video, poster, teaching guide, and a package with samples of Durham wheat, semolina flour and PASTA.