Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Receives Grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation

Grant Will Fund Diverse Gilder Lehrman Institute Programs over Two Years

NEW YORK CITY, November 19, 2018 – The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has been awarded a $500,000 grant over two years from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to support schools and teachers on Long Island and in Brooklyn and Queens in their teaching of American history, thereby strengthening students’ academic performance.

“The generous funding directly benefits students and teachers of American history in profound ways, funding schools to receive indispensable resources through their Gilder Lehrman affiliation, enabling teachers to grow professionally through our world-class seminars, giving young historians their first significant experience in archival work, underwriting proven history programs at flagship schools, and giving college-bound students opportunities to expand their historical knowledge,” says Gilder Lehrman Institute president James G. Basker.

The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress report reveals that, nationwide, only 23 percent of eighth graders are proficient in civics knowledge and only 18 percent are proficient in US history. Improvement requires greater access to resources as well as new approaches to the teaching of US history and civics. The Gilder Lehrman Institute is at the forefront of both efforts.

“Supporting the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s programs means supporting hundreds of teachers and thousands of students who benefit from working with the Institute’s resources under the guidance of the top educators in the field of American history,” notes Kathryn Curran, executive director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. “We are thrilled to provide vital support to the rich array of programs that the Gilder Lehrman Institute offers.”

The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation grant will fund specific programs of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History over a two-year period, including more than 200 new Gilder Lehrman Affiliate Schools in Brooklyn and Queens and on Long Island. Additionally, teachers from Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island schools will receive support to attend Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminars, which are led by top scholars of American history. Gilder Lehrman Collection student interns will see their salaries underwritten by the Gardiner Foundation grant. Students at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn and Patchogue-Medford High School in Patchogue will be supported through Flagship History School Programs, while the Abraham Lincoln High School and the Academy of American Studies in Queens will have increased classroom programming through the Saturday Academies of American History.

Established in 1987, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation primarily supports the study of New York State history. Robert David Lion Gardiner was, until his death in August 2004, the sixteenth Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island, New York. The Gardiner family and their descendants have owned Gardiner’s Island since 1639, obtained as part of a royal grant from King Charles I of England. The Foundation is inspired by Robert David Lion Gardiner’s personal passion for New York history. For more information, please visit

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education while also serving the general public. The Institute’s mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources. Drawing on the 70,000 documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and an extensive network of eminent historians, the Institute provides teachers, students, and the general public with direct access to unique primary source materials. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization of American Historians, and the Council of Independent Colleges.