Teachers “hit the road” to discover state history, bring back to classrooms

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – Approximately 240 elementary and middle school educators began a week-long trek Monday, to explore the people, places, and events that figure prominently in South Dakota history. One group of teachers departed Sioux Falls for an East River history tour, while another left Rapid City for a West River tour.

“Teachers play a critical role in preparing the next generation of South Dakota citizens and leaders,” said Secretary of Education Joseph Graves. “This experience will broaden teachers’ knowledge about South Dakota’s rich history. They should come away with practical ideas for bringing these stories into classrooms across the state.”

As part of the East River tour, educators will visit locations such as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home, Nicollet Tower, Sisseton Agency Headquarters and Wacipi Grounds, and the Territorial Capital. On the West River tour, stops include the Adams Museum, Bear Butte, and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Visitor Center. At each location, educators will hear from experts who will share the site’s story and its historical significance.

The history road trips are one piece of support the Department of Education is providing to educators as they work towards implementation of new social studies standards by fall 2025.

“Our support kicked off with a Civics & History Summit in June and continues with the road trips. We’ll be launching a new website featuring South Dakota-specific resources soon, and we’ll be working with educators to identify possible state supports over the next two years,” Graves said.