Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 25, 2002
Contact: Holly Milledge, 816-268-8245 . Public Relations/Marketing,
or Edeen Martin, 816-268-8218 . Director of Public and External Programs.

White House Decision Center Celebrates First Anniversary.

The White House Decision Center at the Truman Presidential Museum & Library
celebrates its first anniversary and looks toward the future

The new White House Decision Center (WHDC) at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library celebrated its first anniversary on October 15. It's like a laboratory of history in which students learn by using their analytical skills to understand a real situation, their problem solving and decision making skills to help resolve a crisis or problem, their communication skills to advocate their points of view and convey their ideas to one another and to a pool of skeptical reporters during a press conference.

"…The best day's learning they had all year."

More than 4,400 students have already registered for the coming year. The director of the White House Decision Center, Tom Heuertz, is planning for many more. "I think we're going to have over 5,000 students this year," he said. "This program has been very well received by teachers and students, and I think it will grow until we're essentially full." Heuertz has been especially pleased by the positive response by teachers to the WHDC program. "One teacher told me that her students' day at the WHDC was the best day's learning they had all year."

"We'd like to help every student in the region learn something important about their country and about themselves."

Dr. Mike Devine, the director of the Truman Museum, looks forward to the day when the WHDC is booked to capacity. "The Truman Library Institute built this center so that we could educate the young people in this region about history and government and about all the things-the research skills, the broad intellectual training, the communication skills-that a study of history and government imparts. We'd like to help every student in the region learn something important about their country and about themselves. I love it when someone says, 'No child will be left behind.' That's the vision we want for the White House Decision Center."

The White House Decision Center curriculum is intended for students in grades 8 through 12. The decision scenarios currently available focus on the Berlin blockade crisis, the desegregation of the armed forces, and the outbreak of the Korean War. The White House Decision Center program includes preparation work in the classroom and a school day spent at the center.

For further information, contact Tom Heuertz (816-268-8200 , ext. 253) or Ray Geselbracht (816-268-8200 , ext. 263), or visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

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